Servers for Business – Things to Know
Servers form an important function in any network. Learn more about them, and some key ways they can help build a better network and computing infrastructure. Find out if you are ready to move from a peer-to-peer network to a server-client one, and what to look for to best fit the needs at your organization.
The term “server” can mean many things. It can refer to the hardware itself, the operating system that runs on it, or a piece of software that provides a specific service, such as email delivery or website hosting. Often, a server is a high-performance computer that uses specialized software or operating systems to store data and centralize resources across an office. If your organization is growing in terms of staff, constituents, or funding, it might be time to upgrade to a server-based or “client-server” system to help unify and manage the information technology in your office.
In most cases, the biggest impetus for getting a server is an increase in the number of staff and workstations that regularly use your network. If you anticipate growing to more than seven FTE (full-time equivalents) at an office, each using a computer, you might want to consider a server to better manage your workforce and the data they produce. Having a server-based network will enable you to better manage the additional data you collect and report in your grants. As you approach 10 employees and workstations, the benefits of a server become more pronounced.
When Does Your Business Need A Server?
It may not, at least not in the traditional sense. In this blog post, we will first talk about on-premises servers and how servers can help you and your business. Later in the post, we will discuss why a cloud solution is sometimes a better option.
The first question to ask yourself is “What are my business’s goals and objectives?” Depending on how you answer that question, you may find that a cloud solution can meet your needs better than a traditional on-premises server.
With all the devices that your company has, there are many opportunities to get disorganized. With all of the laptops, phones, desktops, and iPads, how can you be certain you are keeping all your devices secure? How are you controlling all those logins and enforcing password policies? A great way to keep everything organized is to consider purchasing a server. Really, any business with more than two or three employees should consider a server of some sort, either cloud or on premises.
Servers have many roles in any IT network and perform a number of important tasks. Let’s talk about some of the most common reasons for introducing a server:
- File Sharing & Security
- Print Services
- Hosting Applications
Benefits to Having a Client-Server System:
- Easier User and Workstation Management
- Improved File-Sharing and Data Storage
- Better Backup System
- Improved Networked Application Performance
- Ability to Run More Powerful Applications
Windows Active Directory
Does your business deal with any regulatory agencies? Both PCI DSS & HIPAA requirements all but dictate you have a server in your environment. It is virtually impossible to meet the requirements set forth in both PCI DSS & HIPAA without a domain controller. A server running domain controller functions will allow you to set password policies, setup audit trails, enforce endpoint encryption, etc.
When deciding on that first server (or your next), it is important to consider the future of your business. Do you expect to grow rapidly? If so, a more sophisticated solution may be needed but it may save you time and money down the road. Most of the functionality of an on-premises server can be replicated in a cloud solution. No need for onsite servers or capital expenses. This may be the best choice for small companies that may grow quickly. Typically, cloud care solutions handle all the data backups tasks, maintenance tasks and can provide redundancy.