Hardware and Software Essentials for Starting Up an E-commerce Business
In this article, we look at how to approach the issues of selecting the right managed or non-managed dedicated servers and business software packages to suit your intended e-commerce business. More than what you do, it is how you approach doing it.
Choosing the right combination of hardware and software solutions for your new e-commerce business can go very wrong if you do not approach this complicated issue in a systematic way. Because you are serious about your business, you are going to need to go with a high-end dedicated servers supplier. You will also need a package of software to manage, run and work your business and people. Getting the right mix of this hardware, then the server software, and finally your business and e-commerce software, is not something you should jump into without considerable thought and consultation. Here is a look at some of the issues to consider.
- Dedicated Hosting. Dedicated hosting will mean you get the hardware you need to run your e-commerce and business software, but before you can even think about putting your content management, e-commerce, employee induction software, and all the other parts of your business software package onto your dedicated server, you will need to make sure the way you set up your server works well with them. In this case, you should discuss with your CMS and business software provider on what is the best and most appropriate server set up for it to run smoothly. Your dedicated server is essentially just the hardware, and you will need to invest in the server software to create the foundation for your business packages. The most attractive point of this approach is you have a clean slate to start with. In most cases, you will need to employ a 3rd party, whether that be your own staff, or outsourced IT services company to work for you to keep your server managed and supported while you operate your business. Setting this up right from the start will mean your CMS and business software should run smoothly with a minimum amount of trouble. Essentially, you will have 3 suppliers. Your content management software supplier (and their support), your choice of IT services to set-up and manage your server software, and last but not least, your dedicated server supplier, who will set-up and manage your hardware. This option is best for those who are looking for a very tailored solution and essentially getting their server to match the business applications they want to use, and who want to set up their server in a very specific way. In essence, they are putting the e-commerce and business software first.
- Managed Dedicated Hosting. Managed dedicated hosting is a supplier who is providing you with the server hardware and software. In most cases, they will have a range of typical set-up solutions. If you are using an e-commerce and other business package that has a large consumer base, then most of the time, the two of these, your business package software and the server software package, will be compatible. You should either look to the managed dedicated server supplier for your business software package, or consult with them regarding your intended choice. You need to make sure they can set-up your server software to handle your choice of e-commerce and other business packages. On the other hand, you could consult your business package software supplier, and let them advise you on what managed dedicated server they recommend based on their experience in the past. They will know which company provides a stable server environment for their packages.
Summing up this discussion. It is better to start with your business software company, and go with their recommendations of server provider, or to discuss future business software options with your managed dedicated server supplier. In the case where you want to have full control and a unique set-up, you will need a good consultant to set-up your non-managed server appropriately for the business and e-commerce package you have chosen. Starting with one end of the solution will make it easier to solve the rest. Choosing your e-commerce and business package software without consulting your managed dedicated server supplier, or vice versa, could mean they have a range of compatibility issues you, and they, are not aware of.