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What is a server and why do you need one?
NOTICE - July 17th, 2020
At the time this article was written, I had an idea to modernize the debt collection industry but it was just an idea. Now, it’s an early stage startup and it looks very promising. Before reading any further, I feel that you should know that I’ve been creating a game changing suite of debt collection software:
I would recommend finishing this article... BUT, serverless is now an option and I’m doing everything in my power to popularize it. I believe that early adopters will be at a huge advantage.
Now, back to the article:
What is a server: [TLDR at bottom]
The word “server” is sometimes a little confusing because a server can refer computer hardware or the programs that run on that hardware. Here we are talking about the actual hardware itself.
Servers are computers designed to wait for any requests from users or other computers and then act on that request. Their main purpose is to be there for you, to share data and perform tasks to keep your workflow smooth and productivity elevated.
Here are some examples of tasks that servers handle:
File sharing
Website hosting
Network management
Custom applications
You can see these types of tasks always require on-demand access and reliability. Should your email go down or database be inaccessible, your productivity plummets. It is necessary for you to purchase modern, reliable servers with features that you and your users can take advantage of to keep your office operating at full capacity.
There are 2 types of servers. Physical Servers and Virtual Servers
Physical Server (a.k.a Dedicated Server)
A is just as the name says, a server (physical computer) on which an Operating System, like Windows or Linux runs just as on any other computer. The physical servers are in almost all aspects like desktop computers, with many improvements that desktop PCs lack featuring things like redundant power supplies, raid controllers, multiple network cards etc. The physical servers are larger in size with much more powerful components in general. They all require a separate space in the server rack. Most of the servers also have two or more physical CPUs with multiple cores each.
Virtual server (a.k.a. VPS or a Virtual Machine – VM)
In order for everyone to understand the concept of virtual servers, we need to explain a little bit on how the virtualization works.
Hypervisor – An operating system or a software within the operating system that simulates a computer environment where the virtual machines are created and run from.
When a VM is created it behaves much like any other computer, you can power it on and load an operating system just as you would on any other computer. The OS is then tricked into thinking that it is run on a physical computer. Each VM has its own so-called virtual hardware. The VM has its own CPU, hard disks, and network interfaces. That means that a VM by default doesn’t know that it is a VM unless there is some software on it that will detect that using other means.
Physical vs Virtual servers pros and cons
Now that we understand the concept of the virtual servers we can make a general comparison of the both from a customer’s perspective.
Physical server cons
Much more expensive than a virtual server (VPS)
Simply because of the resources needed to run and maintain a physical server, they are much more expensive.
Harder to manage
The physical servers are overall much harder to manage. This is especially true with restorations in cases of failures. Just like every other machine, there will be a day when because of a number of reasons the server will fail. In these cases, restoration from backups is a true nightmare as the server will need to be rebuilt from scratch on another (new) server and then the data will have to be restored from the backups. For critical production systems, this means at least 8 or more hours of downtime. To prevent this the companies create clusters of two or more servers, but of course, this will just increase the expenses.
Difficult to upgrade with growth
It is almost impossible to do a server upgrade without additional downtime. Also, it is worth noting that the future upgrades for a dedicated server should be taken into account when ordering the server. Otherwise, the upgrades may lead to ordering a completely new server. That will instead lead to an unplanned service migration and thus unplanned service downtime.
Physical server pros
More powerful than a virtual server
This is the only reason why someone would need to order a dedicated server. So let’s face it, if we have a physical server with 8 GB of RAM and a dual-core CPU, and make an exact virtual machine replica with the same parameters, the physical server will provide much better results. That is because the physical server will not suffer the performance bottlenecks that are present at the virtual machines.
Virtual server cons
Less powerful
If you run a media company which films and edits petabytes of video files or if you're a data-scientist working on DNA sequencing, a dedicated server will be very important. For most businesses, a VPS will be more than sufficient.
Virtual Private Server (VPS) pros
Cheaper than a dedicated server
Easily receive remote support from a trusted IT professional or managed IT provider
Often times, a freelance IT professional can cost you a few thousand dollars per year on an as-needed retainer basis versus a full time, on-site, multipurpose IT professional where salaries can range from $45,000 - $120,000 plus benefits
The physical servers where the VMs are located can host hundreds of VMs. The resources are then divided among the VMs and so the VMs take very little resources on the parent host thus greatly reducing their price.
Simplified management
This is mainly the greatest advantage the VMs have over the physical servers. A VM is much easier to be managed than a physical server. For example, when installing a physical server one must perform a close-up inspection of the server’s hardware and its peripherals and verify that they are working correctly. If something is not working as intended, additional drivers should be installed and configured. When a VM is deployed, the VM takes its drivers from the parent host, thus the VM is ready for work immediately. And this is only one example of many.
Simplified backup and restoration
Scalable and flexible
There is no downtime for performing resource (plan) upgrades with more RAM, CPU power, disk space etc.
The perfect choice for hosting any web service or database
Are Virtual Servers or Physical Servers Right for My Business?
Short answer – 99.9% of the time, a
is a better choice.
Virtualization as a technology these days is getting better and better. Almost every company worldwide has adopted the virtualization up to some level. Unless you need the real power of a and you also have a large business budget, there is no other reason of why one should not choose a
. A
, especially if
based, is fast, secure and easy to manage.
If things like email require servers to run, why don't I need to buy a server to host my email?
Services like Gmail own the server farms which host virtual machines. In signing up for a Gmail account, that are allocating a tiny portion of their server to your account.
The Decca Software company creates software and doesn't work with hardware. They have opted to require the end-user to purchase and configure a server in order to use their software. That is why Decca Software charges a 1 time setup fee and a 1 time license fee (per collector) but no monthly fees.
General Rule of Thumb:
If there is no monthly fee, you are providing the server.
If there is a monthly fee, the software company is providing the server behind the scenes.
If you sign up for a free service- you are the product and the money to cover server hosting comes from advertising revenue.
TLDR: A server is a special type of computer.
A virtual server is more cost-effective and easier to manage. It exists in a server farm and can be accessed remotely. The server connects the data from the database to the software's user interface. It is critical and CollectionsMax can not function without it.

What specs do I need?
Platform: Windows
Operating System: Windows Server 2016
RAM: 4GB - 8GB (4GB is slower and cheaper, 8GB is faster but less inexpensive)
You can always scale up if you prefer to start with 4GB and want to increase to 8GB at a later time when scaling.
Recomended Vendor:
Estimated Cost:
This link can't be embedded.
Be sure to sign up with a temporary password that you can share with your IT professional for the purposes of setup
You can pay for the server hosting monthly or annually
What you are paying for is 24/7 access to a virtual computer which is pre-programmed to process data associated with software management.
Be sure to purchase a Windows Server 2016 plan, it is easy to buy a Linux plan by mistake if you wander around the website or look elsewhere

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