When does your business need a server?

01/07/2019 | by Justin Oliver

BUSINESS NEED A SERVER

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:

Backups

There are two types of computer users in this world, those who have lost data and those who will lose data.  Well, that statement is not entirely true.  If you have a properly configured and tested backup, you can almost certainly prevent data loss in any scenario.  A server goes a long way to getting your business to that point.  Depending on your needs, a cloud backup solution can go a long way to making sure you never lose your data.

File Sharing & Security

File access controls are one of the most common roles that a server can have.  Individuals can store private documents, share documents, permit read only on certain documents, and many other important functions.  For example, the sales team may only require access to the sales folder and not the management folder.  A server can permit this.  And while we are at talking about this, so can many cloud solutions.

Print services

Is Bob in accounting always using all the color toner?  A server with Microsoft print services can help with that.  Depending on the printers in your environment you can prevent Bob from using all that expensive color toner.

Hosting Applications

A server may be an absolute requirement if you want to host on-premises applications like Quickbooks.  Quickbooks, for example, was not designed with the internet in mind and if you attempt to do so you may corrupt your Quickbooks database and you can forget support from Intuit.  But you have to ask, why not use Quickbooks online?

Another great reason to host applications on your own server is if you have poor internet connectivity.  You don’t want to lose access to your application every time the internet goes out, do you?

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.

If you are unsure if you need a server, or you are unsure if a cloud solution is right for you, please call at (901) 475-0275 and let us help you make an informed decision.

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