Do I need a server for my business

Think of servers, and you’ll probably dismiss them as only required to manage corporations and large businesses. On the contrary, the server should form the backbone of any business.

No matter your business’ size, be it a team as small as three or four or a large group of staff, the right technology can make your business more efficient. Invest in a server and make your business safer, more secure and ultimately more productive.

What can a server bring to my business?

Peer-to-peer networks don’t provide you with much in the way of security and resource sharing can be somewhat problematic. So, not surprisingly, they often had problems accessing workstations, lost data due to viruses or spyware or would experience intermittent Internet problems. PCs networked in a peer-to-peer fashion are adequate when you only have a few users on the network, but once you have more then 5 or 6 users on your network, then you really need to consider investing in a network server.

Businesses small, medium or large will all benefit from incorporating a server into their IT processes. Data is vital to the continued success of any organisation. As employees handle increasing amounts of data, often remotely through modern portable devices such as smartphones and tablets, an increased amount of storage is required. If there is one piece of tech that you need to meet all the needs of a modern business, it’s a server.

But What Exactly is a Server?

Many people are under the misconception that a server is no different from a typical desktop PC. This couldn’t be further from the truth. While almost any PC that meets the minimum hardware requirements can run the server operating system, that doesn’t make it a true server. A desktop system is optimized to run a user-friendly operating system, desktop applications, and facilitate other desktop oriented tasks. Even if the desktop had similar processor speeds, memory and storage capacity, it still isn’t a replacement for a real server. The technologies behind them are engineered for different purposes

A server is engineered to manage, store, send and process data, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 356 days a year. For these reasons, servers need to be far more reliable then their desktop counterparts. In order to accomplish this, servers offer a variety of features not typically found in a desktop PC.

File and Network security

The most important role of a file server is the network security it provides. By creating individual user and group accounts, rights can be assigned to the data stored on the network preventing unauthorized users from accessing materials they shouldn’t be viewing. For example, the people on the sales floor don’t need access to employee’s personal records. That information is reserved for HR or the company owners.

The server allows you to manage file access on one system rather than on each workstation individually; which saves time and effort. Plus if a user’s workstation fails, that employee can go to another workstation to continue working on the same files.

Also, all users can store their documents within their own personal folder on the server. The benefit to this is two-fold. First, data stored in a user’s personal folder can only be viewed by the user themselves. Second, since all of your employee’s data is being stored on the network, it gets backed up nightly with the rest of the network data, thus ensuring that nothing will be lost due to a crashed workstation.

Centralised Backup

All businesses should backup their data on a regular basis. By having all of your company and employee data stored in one location, backups can be performed reliably and quickly. So you’ll never need to worry about what data is stored on what workstation as you do in a peer-to-peer network. Today almost any media type can be used for backup purposes. In addition to the traditional tape drive, CDs, DVDs, removal storage, Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices or Off site backups are acceptable. Your choice of media will depend on your specific backup requirements. Depending on your budget and your data retention needs, any of these would be an acceptable solution. Make sure you have at least a scheduled weekly backup, although a daily would be better.

Remote Access

Do you have staff who work from home or on the road? By using a server it is possible for these remote workers to connect to your server via a VPN (Virtual Private Network), and access their files from hundreds (or thousands) of miles away.

Operating systems

Servers will have their own specialised operating system. These will be customised to make best use of the hardware and the tasks that are required of it. Using Windows 7 or 10 as a server operating system is likely to cause problems and reduce performance.

Unlike most IT companies, Midgard is able to offer a choice of operating system for your server. We are able to provide a choice of Linux or Windows server operating systems. We do not say Windows, now what is the question, we will discuss your requirements, determine your needs and provide a suitable solution, not a one size fits all answer. The answer may still be Windows, but at least you know that it is because it is best for you.

With all your data locked into one tight-knit server, you can save money on problematic maintenance and infrastructure costs, and be left to do what’s important, running your business and allowing it to grow.