As your business continues to grow, it’s important to make sure your technology infrastructure is prepared to handle it. Many companies, especially small and medium-sized businesses, question whether or not they need to invest in a server.
SO, SHOULD YOUR COMPANY HAVE A SERVER ENVIRONMENT?
Not every company needs a server. In fact, many small companies continue working on a peer-to-peer network instead of choosing to implement a client/server-based network. It is, however, recommended to have a server network if your company has more than five computers. A server infrastructure possesses many benefits for businesses of all sizes.
What is a Server?
Servers are the backbone of your business’ IT infrastructure. A server is a computer, device or a program that stores, processes, and provides data to clients’ computers sharing your network. Simply put, they serve the needs of these clients’ computers.
Although most personal computers are capable of functioning as a server with the appropriate software, the most common use of the word refers to high-powered hardware machines that are specifically designed for server functionality. Built for reliability, these machines can be left on, 24/7, and can run multiple disk drives to ensure your PCs are operating at optimal capacity. While some are “dedicated servers” that serve one specific function, others may also be used for multiple purposes.
There are many different types of servers that are each serve a specific purpose. For example, web servers utilize HTTP to deliver files from web pages to users.
Other types of servers include:
- Application servers
- Database servers
- File servers
- Mail servers
- Proxy servers
Why Does My Company Need a Server?
Servers are important investments that provide value to all sized businesses, especially those looking to expand. However, they’re not necessary for every company.
“Not all companies need a server,” explains Adam Schwam, CEO of Sandwire, a full-service IT company based on Long Island. “Although, in a server environment, there is more control for security, sharing of files, and information.”
Here are several ways a server can help your business run more effectively and efficiently:
Servers have many hard drives running at the same time, to prevent any interruptions in your employees’ work. They also provide more power to your network, enabling your computers to perform better.
Centralized Storage & Backup
Since all of your data is stored in one location, your employees can seamlessly access documents stored on the server, for collaboration. This centralization of data also allows for easy, quick, and necessary backups.
Allows for Scalability
Servers are easy to upgrade to accommodate growth. This includes disk space and access speeds, so the server can expand with your business.
Companies’ digital data is more susceptible to malware and viruses than ever before. Since servers have a more reliable infrastructure and added security features—such as firewall protection and anti-virus software—they can help keep your documents safe.
How Does My Business Implement a Server?
Companies have two different options when it comes to implementing a server: Either have a physical server in-house, or choose a cloud-based solution.
“Not all companies need a physical server; a server in the cloud may do just fine,” explains Sandwire’s Schwam.
Physical servers are great for larger companies, but for smaller ones, they’re expensive and time-consuming to maintain, making a lot of companies turn to cloud options. Cloud servers, like hosted email, provide an affordable option for small businesses who don’t want to set up, maintain and manage a physical server.
Rather than worrying about installing, maintaining and updating the associated hardware, these business owners can simply pay a fee, and focus their time on growing their business, instead.