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Do I need a Server for my business?

The basic principle behind “Network Servers” is to centralise, share, protect and secure your companies data.

As a business grows important business critical files and program data can become spread across multiple PC’s.

Once data is stored on a server it can be accessed from any PC on the network. This enables the information to be backed up, and administered centrally instead of trawling round lots of computer systems. For example file permissions can be added to folders and files which are locked by username and password. You can then store accounts and personal data securely from say general company documents.

Devices such as printers and other equipment can be shared across multiple PC’s.

Server operating systems such and Microsoft Small Business Server 2008 can allow you to share email, and then access your email via a web browser from anywhere in the world. You can connect iPhones, Smartphones and other email enabled devises to your works email for on the move communication.

Network Servers are generally of a much higher specification than your normal desktop PC’s. They have better quality components, and the hardware is optimised for running Server Operating Systems. They can have built in redundancy which allows for hard drive or a power supply for example to fail, and the server will still run and keep your business going.

Of course there is a price tag. A typical Microsoft Small Business Server 2008 can cost anywhere between £2,000 to £10,000 depending on specification, redundancy, and the amount of users in your business.

For a business this investment can have a very positive pay back. Not only does it centralise your company’s data, but if correctly run, can reduce the amount of time required by staff to look after your IT, and reduce day-to-day problems.

So in answer to your question – look at your projected growth and security of your company’s data. Then seriously consider the advantages to your business. Network Servers may not be right for every business, but I have been working with server products for years now, and have seen the positive growth and productivity increase of many businesses which make that next step to a “Server” based network.

Written by: Julian Flux – connect with Julian on LinkedIn

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