Server Auction FAQs

Last change on 2022-06-19 • Created on 2021-06-18

This article includes common questions and answers about the Hetzner Server Auction.

What is the Server Auction?

It is a Dutch-style auction where customers can bid on servers. The prices start high, and go down over time. When the price is right for you, you can click on the yellow "Order" button to start your order. If you wait too long, someone else might buy the server you want.

What kinds of servers are in the Server Auction?

There is a wide array of servers in the Auction — some with just a small amount of resources, and some with much more. Some have desktop-grade hardware, and others have enterprise-grade hardware. All of the servers in the Auction are "old" servers. At one time, these servers were all part of the new lineup of dedicated root servers. When we at Hetzner introduce the next generation of new servers, we make the "old" servers available on the Server Auction. However, these "old" servers still function normally — often years and years later.

Some of the servers on the Auction were once new servers with customizations. When we put these servers on the Auction, the customized hardware and other addons stay with the server. If you order one of these servers, your order will include that customized hardware.

Do you replace the hardware in the servers if there is an issue?

Yes, of course we do. You can write a support request using your Robot account to request a replacement. We have technicians in our data centers 24 hours a day who can help you with this.

However, we also want to be sure that the hardware is actually defective. So if you have noticed a defect, share as many details as possible with our support team. If you open a ticket and write something vague like, "My server's acting weird. I think the drives are defective," our team will ask you for more information, and that will slow down the process. You can also ask our team to run a hardware check for you by writing a support request via Robot.

What kind of support is included with servers from the Auction?

These are dedicated root servers. They are unmanaged servers, and you, the customer, are the only person who has root access to them. You have the entire server and its resources to yourself.

However, you, the customer, are also completely responsible for administering your Auction server. That means that you are responsible for the server's configuration, all software on the server, security for the server, backing up your data, monitoring your hardware, performing routine updates and other admin maintenance work, and so on. We do not provide support for any software or operating systems, including Plesk, cPanel, Windows, and more. You are also responsible for preventing any kind of abuse on the server, and for quickly removing any issues if our Abuse Team contacts you.

Our technicians will make sure that the server is connected to the internet. If there is a hardware issue that you report, they will also help you. See above. You can request certain kinds of support for free. For example, our team can attach a KVM to your server or they can run a full hardware test on your server.

How much are the setup fees for the Server Auction?

There are no setup fees for these servers.

What kind of customers use servers from the Auction?

These servers are designed for people who already have experience doing server administration. They do not include support. (See above.) Customers who are not server administrators may buy an server from the Auction and also pay someone else to administer the server.

Since these servers do not have setup fees, they are a bit more affordable than our newest models of dedicated root servers. And they are a great way to help the environment. See below. Many usecases do not require the latest hardware, so Auction servers are a smarts choice.

What can I do with a server from the Auction?

These servers are fully-functioning dedicated root servers. You can use them for anything you would normally use a server for. However, some things are not permitted. Please check our System Policies for dedicated root servers here and our Terms and Conditions here.

How do I find the kind of server I want?

When you go to the Server Auction page, scroll down just a little bit. You will see options here for filtering your search. You can search for servers within a certain price, with a certain amount of RAM, or with a certain number of drives, for example. You can also enter specific search terms, such as "Epyc" or "Xeon" or "DDR4".

Click on "Optional Features" on the Server Auction page to see other popular options that you can make during your order. Click on "Features and Service" to see more useful information.

How do I order a server from the Server Auction?

New customers:

When you find the server you want, click on the yellow "Order" button to the right of the server. You will see some more details about the server and the price. And you will need to choose how you want to access the server: with a password or a public key (SSH).

Then follow the steps in the ordering process. You will then create a new account as part of the ordering process. After the process is over, you will have a customer account on Hetzner Accounts. This is the interface with your main customer account information, including billing information. You will also have access to Robot. That is the server administration interface. If you are new to Hetzner, it is worthwhile taking some time to learn more about Robot and where to find information on Hetzner Docs. See, for example:

Customers who already use Robot

You also need to order servers from the Auction via the Server Auction page. You need to use this page to make your bid. (You can't bid on servers via Robot.) At the end of the ordering process, you will sign into your Robot account.

How long does it take to deploy or deliver a server from the Auction?

Usually, we can deploy these servers within 1 business day. It may also go more quickly. Some orders may take longer. For example, if you are a new Hetzner customer, our sales technicians will first review your account information. If you have questions about the status of your order, you can contact our Support Team here. See also here.

When does Hetzner add more servers to the Server Auction?

We at Hetzner do not build servers just for the Server Auction. All of the Auction servers were once servers that other customers used. We only add servers to the Auction once the previous user has cancelled them. So the supply for the Server Auction depends on how many customers have recently cancelled their servers. Some models are more popular than others, and are therefore a bit more difficult to find on the Auction.

Who decides the prices for the Server Auction?

For each server model, Hetzner decides the starting price. When we add a server from that model to the Auction, it always starts at the same price. Then, over time, the price for that server goes down. So you might see the same server model at different prices because the servers have been on the Server Auction for a different amounts of time.

Who decides how much time there is between price drops?

We use software to randomly decide how much time there is between price drops. We find that this helps to make the bidding process for the Auction fairer.

Why do the prices generally sometimes seem to be higher or lower?

The prices sometimes seem to change because of basic supply and demand principles. If there is a greater supply, there are more servers on the Auction, and people will wait longer to make a bid. So the average price will fall. If the supply is low, there will be fewer servers on the Auction, and people will make bids on servers earlier. So the average price will rise. The same is true with demand. If the demand is low, people will wait longer to make a bid, and the average price will fall. If there is an increase in demand, people will not wait so long to make a bid, and the average price will increase.

We at Hetzner do not manipulate the prices for the Server Auction. When servers become available, we add them to the Auction. See above. The prices are based on the supply of servers we have, and on the demand created by the customer.

Can I order extra hardware for the servers on the Auction?

You can't order them during your initial order. However, once we deploy the server to you, you can request extra hardware by writing a support request via Robot.

But first, look at our article on Hetzner Docs to find what hardware we offer and the prices for them. If you are not sure whether you can add a piece of hardware to your server, you can write a support request.

Please make sure to clearly write what kind of hardware you would like. To speed up the process, you can also write this in your support ticket: "I confirm that I will pay the additional cost of the hardware".

Can I order extra add-ons or subnets?

You can't order them in your initial order. However, once we deploy the server to you, you can request addons by submitting an order via Robot. For additional subnets, IPs, and other addons and their prices, see:

How do I cancel my server?

There is a guide here for how to cancel products on Robot. Follow the steps here for dedicated root servers.

30 days to the end of the month

The cancellation period for these servers is 30 days to the end of the month.

How do I cancel extra IPs, hardware, and addons?

You may need to cancel these separately. Please carefully read our article about cancellations on Robot. If you have any questions, please write a support request using your Robot account.

How old is the hardware in the servers from the Auction?

This changes from server to server. Before we add servers to the Auction, we run a full hardware test to make sure all the hardware is working properly. Of course, hardware does sometimes fail. (This can also happen with brand new hardware, too.)

If you are worried about possible hardware failures, you can take precautions just as you would with any dedicated root server. Configure your servers using RAID, make multiple and frequent backups, using monitoring software to monitor your server's hardware, etc. As with all of our dedicated root servers, you, the customer, are responsible for backing up your data, configuring your server, monitoring it, and securing it.

What kind of network connection comes with servers from the Auction?

With each server from the Server Auction, you get a dedicated uplink with guaranteed bandwidth of 1 Gbit/s (100 Mbit/s for servers under 1400 CPU-B).

How much traffic is included with servers from the Auction?

All dedicated root servers (including those from the Server Auction) have unlimited traffic. See also here.

How does Hetzner deliver the operating system?

We use our Rescue System for this.

Use a standard image

You can install one of our standard images using the Rescue System. See:

Install your own image using a KVM console and the Rescue System

Or, if you want, you can install your own image. See:

Do the servers come with any backup space?

Customers with dedicated root servers with prices at or higher than € 39.00 a month without VAT can get a server-bound BX10 Storage Box for free to use as backup space. You need to first order the server-bound BX10 Storage Box to use it. You can do this on your Robot account. After logging on, go to the correct server. Then click on "Backup". Now you should see a selection of Storage Boxes. Click on the circle next to "BX10 - inclusive (Price (monthly): € 0.00 / Setup (once): € 0.00)". Then agree to the Terms and Conditions and then click on "Order storage box" at the bottom.

What is the "SB" in the server model number?

When the Server Auction first started, it had a German name "Serverbörse". The "SB" is an abbreviation of this. The first English translation for this was "Server Bidding". You might still hear some people call it that.

How is the Server Auction good for the environment?

Many use cases do not require the latest hardware. By choosing a server from the Auction, you are following the general principles of reduce, reuse, recycle. It is similar to buying a used cell phone or simply using your cell phone for a longer period of rather than buying a new one every few years.

E-waste is a growing global problem. Yet a lot of customers want web hosting companies like Hetzner to offer new server generations every year or two. But if we only used our servers for 2 years before updating them, it would generate a lot of e-waste. And much of that hardware still functions smoothly after 2 years. Even after we recycle what we can from servers, there are still materials that cannot be recycled. There are also serious environmental impacts from manufacturing new hardware.

Therefore, one of the best ways to reduce the environmental footprint of hardware is to use it for as long as possible. That is the main goal of the Server Auction. We encourage customers to use these products; therefore, we do not charge a setup fee for them. By ordering a Server Auction product, you not only save money, but you can also be proud of yourself for making an environmentally friendly decision.

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