he is comtemplating getting a dedicated server or actually buying one to install in his office
IMHO, he would be best off purchasing a dedicated server from another company. Of course, I don't know anything about his system-administration abilities (and I may be a little biased
), but do know that it takes some work to setup a server in-house. You need to keep close tabs on the machine, not to mention all of the networking and system administration issues that are involved.
A dedicated server from a hosting company will almost always come with some kind of management software to help him maintain his sites. Also, they will probably be more than happy to install ColdFusion on the server for you if you provide the software license (I don't think many companies offer this standard). However, I have heard some people have had trouble getting a few of the "larger" hosting companies to do any custom installations. Just do some research before you pick a company to make sure that they aren't too big to notice you.
If it turns out that he is really interested in running the server from his home/office, then this tutorial might be of use to him:
Hope that helps!