Renting or Buying a Server: How to Save Money

  • Updated on August 18, 2023
  • Tech

When companies are in need of additional server equipment, their first instinct is often to turn to Google with questions like: “How much does it cost to rent a server?” or “How much does it cost to buy a server?” However, the first question that should be asked is, “Which server is better to buy/rent?” Only then should the cost be considered. Let’s explore the key differences and options between renting and buying a server, so you can make an informed decision.


The Differences Between Renting and Buying a Server

There are essentially four options in this situation:

  1. Buying a physical server and placing it in the company’s office;
  2. Buying a physical server and placing it in a Data Center (also known as colocation);
  3. Renting a dedicated physical server, which is located in the service provider’s Data Center;
  4. Renting a Virtual Private Server (VPS/VDS).

Each of these options has its own cost and unique features. Before you choose one, it’s important to determine whether you actually need physical equipment. Situations where renting/buying a server is essential include:

  • Large-scale internet projects, such as online stores, search, and social services, media, and government projects;
  • Portals with a large flow of information, like video hosting sites, online cinemas, etc.;
  • Websites with high daily traffic;
  • Corporate websites and web services where access to IT infrastructure, data backups, and other functions are required for the company’s full operation.

Options for Renting/Buying a Server

Buying a New or Used Physical Server

There are several alternatives here. You can buy a new server, which will be significantly more expensive, or a used server, which is cheaper and suitable for companies with a limited budget.


As mentioned earlier, colocation is the purchase of servers and their subsequent placement in the provider’s data centers. For this service, you will also need to rent a unit in the data center.

Renting a Virtual Server (VDS/VPS) or Hosting

A VDS/VPS server is a virtual dedicated server, the resources of which are rented by only one company. The price of a VPS/VDS server is attractive to many organizations, as it is based entirely on your needs and plans.

Renting/Buying a Dedicated Server

A dedicated server is a physical server located in the provider’s Data Center and rented for a specific period. This service is used by companies that operate websites with high traffic and need continuous access, uninterrupted operation, and quality protection of all company resources.

Calculating the Cost of Renting/Buying

To help you calculate the cost of renting/buying, you can use the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). In other words, TCO is the total budget that you allocate from the moment of renting/buying equipment until the end of its use.


In today’s world, to minimize expenses while remaining successful, companies must understand their capabilities and needs. Therefore, before making any decision, carefully study the cost of renting and buying a server. If you are unsure, you can always consult with specialists who can advise the most profitable option.


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