If your business has been around for a while, you may be thinking that it is set for the foreseeable future. After all, you have built a solid consumer base, your employees respect you and those whom your business serves, and your goods and services are reviewed well, strengthening your company’s reputation and helping to grow your business.
In the background, however, you still have that old PC you bought when you started your business. Old Faithful you call her. Sure, she cannot handle the day-to-day operations of your business, but she is reliable enough to share important files and backup your information.
Unfortunately, that Old Faithful is a ticking time bomb. Computers that used to be run just during the day, are now run 24/7. Older parts can’t handle the newer updates and at some point, that old machine will find itself at the end of its rope. Once it goes, it is taking all of your important business documents, important emails, and messages with it.
Because of this risk, you should highly consider getting a new server or using the cloud for storing your key files. If you are asking yourself what a server is and if you really do need one, this guide is for you! Consider the following information to help you make your decision.
What Is a Server?
A server is an advanced software or hardware device that acts as a virtual assistant for your network. It accepts and responds to requests made from clients (the device that put in a request) on the network, stores your important documents, makes sure that people using your network have permission to do so, and much more.
Unlike a regular computer that is typically not designed to stay on 24/7, a server is built to run without rest. It can handle complex requests at ease and can take on the responsibility of holding emails, DNS, FTP, and store important information. It can handle power outages, and has resilience built into its framework. Depending on which server you buy and what features you install, it can withstand Drive Failures, Memory Failures, Power outages and more.
Servers are designed to stay on because they are constantly handling requests from clients. In most cases, servers are set up to be fault-tolerant, meaning that if something were to go wrong, a backup can quickly take its place. This helps ensure the safety and efficiency of your business.
Servers and Security
Unlike a PC-to-PC network, a server offers a central data point for your files and for security. You focus your security measures on the server, and it spreads them out to all the other devices and creates a secure recovery plan. Servers also have the added security benefit of:
- Consolidating your storage and resources
- Increasing your security and the reliability of your network
- Organizing important information such as emails, contacts, calendars, and backups
- Managing virus and spam protection services
With a server, you will find that your company’s time is better spent and runs more efficiently since its data can be accessed easier and faster by all your people. If your company operates partially online, you will find that the consumer experience is also improved as they will be able to get in contact with your employees more effectively.
Should I Get a Cloud Server or an In-House Server?
If you are ready to retire Old Faithful and invest in a server, you have two options:
- Invest in hardware and keep it physically on your business’s premises or
- Choose to have a cloud option.
The cloud option can be an actual server in the cloud, or just services in the cloud, reducing the need for set-aside space for the server hardware, power requirements, Internet reliability and more.
Both kinds of servers require the responsibility of managing the infrastructure for your company. However, the plus side of a local server is that you own the equipment. A cloud server, on the other hand, is an outsourcing solution where you pay a fee for the server or service each month.
Cloud servers are never less expensive than local servers, but they can be a tremendous solution if it is right for your business.
Need help deciding? The knowledgeable IT specialists at Integris can help find the perfect solution for your needs. Contact our team for more information on our cloud computing and server services. We are your go-to specialists for all of your computer needs!