Why Custom-Built Servers Aren’t Always Better

Mar 13, 2019 | Blog

The general public has direct access to computer hardware and consumer electronic parts thanks to online retailers such as Amazon, Newegg, and TigerDirect. Because of this easy access, it’s possible for anyone to purchase the components needed to custom-build their own storage server.

Custom building a storage server only requires a few components – the chassis, CPU, memory card, disk sleds, SAS drives, and redundant power – but how do you know this custom-built server is going to perform as intended? What if a part fails after six months, one year or two years?

A generic unbranded server is constructed using parts from a variety of manufacturers. One of the biggest challenges with these types of systems is that they typically incorporate technology that is one or two generations old. While using outdated technology helps reduce the initial cost, the customer loses out by increasing their total cost of ownership by not having an up-to-date processor. With technology changing each day, it is necessary to have a system that supports new technology to guarantee the best results.

While the individual parts may have achieved UL and CE certifications, the complete system may lack the necessary designations to meet safety standards required in computer and electronic devices. Without such designations, these custom-built servers cannot be shipped globally and lack the assurances that a component is not.

Another consideration is software updates. If a custom-built server has a Windows update, how do you know that the other components within the server can support an update? An update might not be compatible or might freeze the system. The overall security of the system may also be compromised, especially when using five or six different branded products that do not support a controlled firmware or software update.

The bottom line is that custom-built systems do not come with a full warranty, which many end users require today. The costs can quickly add up for an integrator that builds these systems in-house and then has to support a truck roll when a hard drive fails. Any initial savings from custom building the server could be wiped out within a matter of months.

BCDVideo servers come with a 5-year warranty, along with UL, CE and other certifications that ensure these devices meet safety guidelines and can be shipped to clients globally. Guarantees like these go a long way to reduce liability and ultimately provide customers, and security systems integrators, with the peace of mind that they require.