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What to Look for in a Server Vendor in 2024

Servers and on-premises infrastructure continue to be a critical driver of digital transformation, hybrid work, multicloud-by-design strategies and IT modernization efforts in 2024.

By leveraging the latest advances in server performance, agility, reliability, security, sustainability, automation and operational efficiencies, IT decision makers have an opportunity to support their organizations’ most important strategic goals.

The myth is that public cloud is displacing on-premises infrastructure and the need for investing in modern servers. The reality is that on-premises data centers and modern servers are a critical and growing aspect of most modern multicloud and hybrid cloud strategies.

In 2024, 50% of IT decision makers said they plan to increase spending on data center infrastructure, according to the 2023 Technology Spending Intentions Survey by TechTarget’s Enterprise Strategy Group.1 The research found that more than 50% of respondents consider on-premises first or equal with cloud when deploying new applications.

Separate ESG research revealed that enterprises are significantly increasing their number of data centers. Five years ago, the majority of organizations were operating two or fewer data centers. Five years from now, nearly two-thirds of IT professionals anticipate their organizations will be operating six or more data centers.2

Top priorities for IT decision makers

But priorities are changing in terms of what IT decision makers are looking for from their investments in servers and their choice of technology vendors for their on-premises infrastructure.

Technology leadership is still vital, of course. But also top of mind are factors such as ability to meet delivery deadlines, supply chain resiliency, quality, reliability, sustainability, security, automation and efficiency, buying flexibility and customer service/relationships. IT decision makers consistently say they need infrastructure vendors they can trust.

Delivering a cloud experience is a critical consideration. The No. 1 priority for data center modernization is increasing the use of on-premises hyperscale cloud solutions, cited by 31% of decision makers in ESG’s study.3

Other top IT priorities are cybersecurity; reducing total cost of ownership (TCO); reducing complexity; deployment flexibility (i.e., consumption-based pricing); artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning; private and hybrid cloud infrastructure software; and modern management, orchestration and automation tools.4

This article provides a brief overview of five key considerations when choosing a server vendor in 2024. Additional articles and resources in this Server Buying Considerations 2024 section provide more insight and depth, highlighting how the partnership of Dell Technologies and Intel® delivers advantages in innovation, sustainability, quality, reliability, security and trust.

5 things to look for in a server vendor

Technology innovation and leadership:

Server design has gotten more complex, with the need to pack more compute power in tiny spaces. Every single cubic centimeter is vital, and airflow and cooling considerations have to be prioritized in server thermal design, which is an area where Dell PowerEdge servers provide significant competitive advantages. Dell IT is also vital for servers to leverage modern processor technology, especially 4th Generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors. Add in the growing requirements for AI, hyperscale clouds, increased automation and more power at the edge, and it is clear why engineering excellence is essential for IT decision makers who are increasingly concerned about quality and reliability.

A commitment to sustainability:

Sustainability is a key objective for IT professionals, with a large majority of organizations willing to pay a premium to meet environmental, social and governance criteria. In choosing a server vendor, sustainability doesn’t come with a premium—in fact, it is a vital factor in reducing TCO. The key is to closely examine just how deeply committed your vendor is to sustainability. The following are key questions to ask:

  • What innovations does your server offer to improve energy use? Examples: multivector cooling, direct liquid cooling solutions and thoughtful thermal design.
  • Does your vendor meet the criteria for a silver rating by the Global Electronics Council’s Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT)? Does your vendor even participate?
  • What are your vendor’s goals in recycled packaging and recycled product content?
  • How does your vendor rate in Energy Star Enterprise Server Certifications?

End-to-end security:

Cybersecurity is the No. 1 driver of increased spending for IT decision makers in 2023, according to the 2023 IT Priorities Study from TechTarget Content and Advisory Services.5 Key factors to consider: a secure and resilient supply chain, including the ability to secure each component; end-to-end intrinsic security, including zero trust; a cyber-resilient architecture with enhanced features; and secure asset recycling.

Zero Trust. Verified Trust.

Read this paper to learn how Dell PowerEdge servers provide a new standard of security to meet the challenge of the increasing amount of ever-changing threats.

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Automation to maximize TCO, reduce complexity and improve operational efficiencies:

More than 50% of IT decision makers surveyed said their IT environment is more complex than it was two years ago, with 18% saying it is “significantly more complex.”6 In 2023, 66% of IT decision makers are increasing their use of automation.7 Look for a server family that can ease management tasks through console reduction, integration with all your existing tools and extensive automation such as zero-touch configuration, to save administrator time and stress and reduce TCO.

Supply chain and financial innovation:

In today’s world of digital and workplace transformation, IT teams need to deliver a great experience to customers and employees—one they can trust. Your servers are a key element in ensuring that trust. You need a vendor you can rely on to deliver best-in-class, high-quality products on time. Your vendor must also offer validation, testing, certifications and customizations, with services and financing to facilitate technology acquisition. Trust is built through years of leadership, long-term relationships and an earned reputation for technology innovation.

Taking the next step
When it comes to meeting IT’s priorities in choosing a server vendor in 2024, the partnership of Dell and Intel® offers advantages in all the key areas: technology innovation, sustainability, security, TCO and trust.

For more information on how you can leverage Dell and Intel® to meet your server needs for 2024 and beyond, please review the articles and resources on this site and visit Dell Technologies.

12023 Technology Spending Intentions Survey,” TechTarget’s Enterprise Strategy Group, November 2022
2The Data Center Lives On, But It’s Future Will Be Very Different,” TechTarget’s Enterprise Strategy Group,  September 2022
3 Ibid. footnote 1
4 Ibid. footnote 1
52023 IT Priorities Study,” TechTarget Content and Advisory Services, April 2023
6 Ibid. footnote 1
7 Ibid. footnote 6


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