I've been wondering if there's a demand for brand-name Rent-To-Own servers in the dedicated server industry. Most people wouldn't want plain white-boxes, so I'm asking about brand name servers.
Also, what would you be willing to pay for an RTO Dell PE400SE server with a P4 2.4 or 2.8 w/ HT, 512MB RAM, 40GB HD, and between 500-1000GB transfer on a budget provider's network such as ServerMatrix, Nocster, Ezzi, etc.?
Also, what other large computer companies besides Dell offer tower servers close to the prices that Dell does?
It's a tough call considering the Dell you listed can be had for less then $600 directly from them. Ezzi does the same deal with the Dells and it seems to work good for them. Depending on how much you charge for setup fees and the term it may be worth it.
I'd be interested in a RTO @ theplanet/servermatrix for sure... even just from the standpoint that after 6/12 months the cost would go down to being cheaper than renting one as normal.
As for the dell/whitebox... whats the difference? I would be more interested in the brand of components (ram, motherboard, hard disk, network card (if not onboard)). I've spoken with providers in the past who offer dell towers but put non-original parts in so the guts aren't dell standard... only the tower
From our experience, most people rent dedicated servers because they don't want the hassles of equipment inventory.
Ownership of equipment often implies various liabilities -- spare parts if equipment fails, insurance, equipment obsolesce, etc.
Furthermore, if the client owns the equipment after a period of time, they would then need the right to gain access to their equipment; and their equipment may be located in a rack containing equipment from other customers.
That then means that if that customer gained access, which should be their right when the equipment is owned, you would then have to baby sit the customer to ensure they did not accidentally (or on purpose) damage or interfere with the security of the other servers and equipment in the rack.
Servers that are being used today are quite affordable now especially if you are talking about a Dell. So if someone wants ownership and the ability to customize their own hardware, they could easily do Cololocation for that.
Personally, I still prefer the dedicated server rental concept. I do not want to bother myself with ownership and probably disposal of a dated hardware. In my books, a server older a year old might be considered too old. I replace my hardware after 2 years.
With dedicated servers, I get to upgrade at will without any consequences, I am not tied in to any long term contracts or anything. I have my freedom. I know I may pay more for that freedom, in the long run, I benefit from the flexibility.
I am physically distant from my server and I do not want to have to worry about flying half way around the world to just to replace a component or pay the datacenter each time a component requires replacement. It means shorter downtime if that happens.
Of course if you are talking about RTO for higher end hardware such as a Sun or Cray or even an IBM mini, there may be a niche market for those. They do not come cheap and they do last a whole lot longer.
All good points eddy. I asked myself the same question a hundred times whether to rent or buy. In the long run you save money by owning the equipment and at least with co-lo you are not limited to what DC you want to be in so just for that sake it was worth the extra upfront costs. Not to mention it is easier to make good deals with the DC's when you tell them you are planning on moving a bunch of servers rather then renting just one..
But yes the question is what the heck are we going to do with all the machines after XX period of time when they are no longer able to keep up... .50 on the dollar is about all the equipment will end up being worth if you are lucky when that time comes...
I guess one option would be to clean up the machines of all the files and donate it to a charitable organization. I am sure someone in the world would benefit from the computers no matter how old they are, that is if they still work.