How Much Will a Server Cost?
The server you purchase may or may not include a server operating system. When it comes to selecting your own server operating system, high-end server OSes like Windows Server 2008 R2 start at about $1,000 for up to five users (five client access licenses, or CALs) and $4,000 for the Enterprise edition, which includes 25 CALs. If you’re looking for a less expensive alternative you have plenty of options as well, including Mac OS X Server ($499 with unlimited client licenses), Microsoft Small Business Server (approximately $550 with support for up to 25 users) and a variety of enterprise Linux server distributions that range from free to $1,000 or more for an annual support subscription.
You'll also need to budget for the software applications your server will need in order to perform its tasks. The dollar amounts can add up quite quickly in this area – for example, to handle e-mail services you'll need an application like Microsoft Exchange Server, which starts at $699 for the Standard edition and $3,999 for the Enterprise edition; for database services an app like Microsoft SQL Server will cost nearly $900; and for file sharing and online collaboration, options like Microsoft's Sharepoint Server or Citrix Presentation Server can cost anywhere from $400 to $3,000 or more.
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