Server Parts Essentials: Maximize Your IT

- Posted by Author: admin in Category: Servers |

Servers are an essential part of the modern organization’s infrastructure. Learn about the various components that make up these wonderful machines.


A server is like a geode—boring old rock on the outside, but hiding under the surface is a network of crystals that hold all the shine. A server also has a boring (often boxy and plain) exterior, but underneath is a network of components that powers modern business. 

Virtually every operation needs a server, from small businesses with single-server set-ups to multinational corporations with dedicated data centers. It’s not just businesses; government agencies, healthcare networks, financial institutions, and educational providers rely on servers. 

But what is a server? Isn’t it like a computer? 

In a way, it’s like a supercharged computer capable of handling the heavier computational loads related to organizational operations. Without servers managing applications, email clients, and data storage, running a modern business, let alone one that runs efficiently and within budget, would be impossible. 

Although servers are so vital, few business leaders take the time to learn about the components that make them tick or the life expectancy of each part. By reading today’s post, you’ll gain an appreciation for these crucial devices and a competitive advantage during your next budget meeting. 

Core Components of a Server

Like a geode, a server can have many enclosure setups. They come in the familiar tower style, which mimics the look of a desktop tower. These are common in small businesses or for personal use. 

Servers also come in a rack-mount style, with horizontal modules loaded into larger server racks. These servers and racks occupy dedicated server rooms or on-premises data centers. The rack-type mount makes access easier than tower-mount servers. 

Finally, we have blade-mount servers, which resemble large electronic drawers that mount in server bays. They are similar to rack-mount servers, but you can store many more of them in a smaller space. 

Regardless of which type of mount you deploy in your organization, you’ll have a handful of required hardware to make it function. These server parts include:

  • The motherboard – Contains all the primary circuitry that unifies the other components. It also houses the CPU, RAM, storage drives, and any ports, like USBs or hardware adaptors. These come in small form factor (SFF) and large form factor (LFF) designs. 
  • The CPU—The central processing unit (CPU) is the computer brain responsible for carrying out all computing tasks. These tasks can range from executing software applications to hosting email exchanges, database transfers, or connected control. Intel and AMD are the largest CPU producers for servers.
  • RAMRandom Access Memory (RAM) is short-term server memory critical to performance. Most servers utilize DDR4 RAM sticks, and some high-tech companies use the latest DDR5. DDR3 still exists, but many organizations are discontinuing these devices. 
  • Storage—A hard drive is where your digital “stuff” lives, including files, applications, and databases. Two types of storage are available: NVMe SSD, a solid-state drive with no moving parts and fast read/write speeds, and SATA HDD (hard disk drives), an older tech that uses a spinning disk but unlocks large capacities for lower initial costs. 
  • Network port or Wi-Fi card—This allows you to connect to networks, which are vital for transferring data, recording transactions, or powering applications.
  • Power supply: This provides electricity to the unit and all its components. It’s essential that your servers have the correct power, as under or over-powered units can become damaged. 
  • Cooling fans or systems – Fans, liquid-cooled systems, or temperature-controlled rooms keep components operating at their ideal temperature, preventing a drop in performance as parts heat up under use. 
  • GPU – Graphics cards are not a required component, but they may be necessary for certain builds. 

Each component has a range of performance based on your needs, the price you’re willing to pay, and the type of setup you desire. Of course, you’ll also need an operating system and software to allocate these resources properly; otherwise, you have a pricey paperweight. 

Choosing the Right Server Parts

With some insight into the components that make up your average server, you might feel the temptation to spring for the best available. Unless you’re a global organization that handles 3D modeling and training machine learning models with an almost endless supply of venture capital, you’ll need to scale back your server-fueled dreams. 

First, you’ll need to evaluate your current and projected processing needs. This stage allows you to be realistic about what you need from your server and how you plan to use it. Building a business case for your new server will help it get approved by finance departments and stakeholders. 

Next, you’ll want to compare various models and operating system software. If your company runs on Windows, getting a macOS operating system wouldn’t make much sense. Seamless integration will make setup and maintenance more accessible and less expensive.

You should also consider how you plan to use your server. Cloud-based providers offer cost-efficient services for backup and disaster recovery, while hybrid models make it easy to scale as new users require application log-ins and your business needs additional database storage. 

Finally, consider the security you will need for your server. Healthcare and financial institutions have strict security requirements; even enterprise-level organizations want meaningful security to prevent data leaks or cyberattacks. 

Despite the cost of servers and their components, avoid purchasing cheap equipment. The lost performance and unreliable capability will cost you more in the long run in terms of missed sales opportunities, crashed websites, or server downtime. 

The Lifespan of Server Components

Servers, on average, last between seven and ten years. Heavy users can expect less life expectancy, while lighter users can squeeze a few extra years from their servers. Of course, regular maintenance and updates will keep equipment lasting longer than not. 

Each individual component also has a life expectancy, and you can reasonably expect to replace components at the following rates: 

  • CPUs: 3-4 years (will likely become obsolete before wearing out).
  • RAM sticks: 5-7 years, depending on average daily load.
  • Storage devices: HDDs 3-5 years and SSDs 5-7 years.
  • Cooling components: 3-5 years.

Modern computer components have high standards attached to their manufacturing. Despite these standards, many new products have a failure rate somewhere between three and five percent. Don’t wait until a failed component becomes a problem, and get replacement parts from We Buy Used IT Equipment! 

The Market for Used and Refurbished Server Parts

Most manufacturers want you to buy the latest devices and out-of-the-box, brand-new gear, but there is a case for refurbished and used equipment. For starters, avoiding new equipment can save a considerable chunk of cash. While used products are the most affordable, we recommend refurbished gear to balance performance and cost. 

You can find refurbished IT equipment at discounts up to 50% off what retail new servers would cost. Plus, refurbished servers undergo robust testing, repair, reconfiguration, and certification, ensuring their performance is like factory-new. 

Because of the extensive reconditioning process, refurbished servers have fail rates much lower than brand-new equipment. That means you don’t have to sacrifice performance while saving money on initial IT expenses. 

We also recommend you purchase refurbished servers from reputable providers. Manufacturers like Dell PowerEdge or HP Proliant have factory-refurbished products, but We Buy Used IT Equipment has a broader selection, fast shipping, and a generous 90-day warranty! 

Best Practices for Managing Server Parts Inventory

Your servers and IT hardware are expensive investments crucial for your organization’s success. Maintaining that equipment is the best way to ensure you maximize the return on investment (ROI) of each component. 

That maintenance means frequent software updates, replacing worn or broken equipment, keeping servers free of dust, and enforcing proper security protocols. It’s also crucial that you document each component so that when the time comes, you can sell, recycle, or recover some of that initial investment through various programs. 

Partner with We Buy Used IT Equipment for Optimal Solutions

While it’s unlikely you’ll find an amethyst hiding in a server if you crack one open, the hidden magic inside is no less impressive compared to those natural geodes. From the central processor to the power supply and everything in between, each server component serves a vital role in powering your modern organization. 

Now that you’re a server pro, you can find the best solution for your business. And trust We Buy Used IT Equipment as your go-to partner for the best in new and refurbished servers and components. Our warranties and dedication to excellent customer service make us the last provider you’ll need. Request a quote and explore your IT equipment options today!