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Do I Still Need a Server in My Business Computer Rescue IT Support Kent
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Do I Still Need a Server for my Business

With many companies making the shift to cloud solutions the question is always asked: “Do I Still Need a Server for my Business” whether a physical, on-premise server is really still required.

If you’re wondering what the answer is, simply put, unfortunately, there is no definitive choice.  it’s both yes and no, and it is dependent on a number of factors.

Whether you still need a server or whether you can operate without one relies heavily on the current circumstances, needs, and the environment that you operate in.

Ignoring some of the alternative options that we will come to later, you can think of the premise of owning a server or paying for a cloud server like purchasing a car. There are primarily two options; You can buy the car outright and own it at the end of your agreement or hire it and trade up when your contract expires. In this respect, some of you will prefer the thought of having a physical asset you own and maintain instead of purchasing something you will never completely own.

Why would I want a server in the first place?

Servers can be the greatest tool to assist in managing your business from one central location. They give you the ability to create user accounts for your staff, store your data in a central location, restrict what data your staff can access, manage cybersecurity requirements, configure printers on all of your machines and that’s not even scraped the surface of what’s possible.

To begin our dive into the question at hand we are going to have to look at several options from varying different aspects:

Micro-enterprises (1-9 employees):

Due to the small number of employees, micro-enterprises are the most likely to steer away from having a physical server. Unless a specific demand is required for software needed to operate the business, a physical server can be an expensive asset to purchase at this level of business. Centralised management isn’t a major issue at this size either as it’s an acceptable number of workstations that can be accessed individually.

Available Option Considerations:

Standalone Windows Server Essentials:

Specifically designed for businesses with under 25 users and 50 devices.

Centralised user account management

Centralised data storage

Centralised printer management

Network Attached Storage (NAS):

Expandable storage device for centralised data

Possible to restrict access

Low cost solution

Microsoft Sharepoint:

Company data is stored on Microsoft Cloud Servers

Requires an email account for access (Primarily Office 365 email accounts however external users can be ‘invited’).

Accessible anywhere

Sync utility is available via the Microsoft OneDrive for Business application

*Not suitable for databases

**No centralised management of computers, printers, etc

Small enterprises (10-49 employees):

It’s at this stage that centralised management begins to become important. Most enterprises begin to question if it’s time to take the leap and purchase a server after buying a new printer and having to set it up manually on up to 49 computers.

Available Option Considerations:

Standalone Windows Server Standard:

User limit is based on a licensing model (CALs)

Centralised user account management

Centralised data storage or storage management (Can be combined with a NAS to grant access to users quickly and easily).

Centralised printer management and deployment.

Microsoft Sharepoint:

Company data is stored on Microsoft Cloud Servers

Requires an email account for access (Primarily Office 365 email accounts however external users can be ‘invited’).

Accessible anywhere

Sync utility is available via the Microsoft OneDrive for Business application

*Not suitable for databases

**No centralised management of computers, printers, etc

Private Cloud Server:

Data storage with access control

Database server with remote application access

*Databases will need to be confirmed with the software developer if this is an application for their software

 

Medium enterprises (50-249 employees):

Businesses of this size are likely to have several servers and for the sake of this article, we’re going to assume it’s across a number of different sites.

Windows Server(s):

Option A:

Each site has an individual server running Microsoft Windows Server 2019 Standard

There is a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connecting all sites together.

If multiple domains are present, domain trusts can be configured to allow for separated user account control while allowing access to the data on each server from all other domains (sites).

Printers are managed from each local server.

Option B:

Windows Server 2019 Standard server is available at the head office that controls user accounts for all sites.

VPN connections are configured to allow all sites access to the servers in the head office.

Data is stored either directly on the server, NAS or cloud server and access is configured via the head office.

Printers are managed for all offices from a central server

 

Hyper-V / vSphere (Virtualisation):

Host server running Windows Server Standard 2019 or VMWare.*

Host server includes virtualised domain controller running Windows Server Standard 2019 (for centralised management) as well as separate Windows Server Standard 2019 (For Terminal Services).

All centralised management occurs directly on the domain controller

Users can remotely access and log into the Terminal Server for their applications and data access regardless of location.

*Other virtual host options are available

Cloud Servers / Microsoft Azure / Amazon Web Services:

Cloud Server configurations can be managed as per all previous options.

Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services provide additional hardware scaling should performance decrease as demand grows.

 

The question of “Do I need a server” this remains.  We have highlighted several key factors and types of server available, however, the end result remains the same.  What do you want the server to do?  And what are your current circumstances?

There is no definitive answer that anybody will be able to give you without having a conversation about where your business is, what your 5-year plan will bring, and what your current needs and expectations are.

 


 

Computer Rescue offers a complete range of IT Support and Cyber Security Services, all priced according to your requirements and needs of the business.  All of our IT Support and Cyber Security Services are tailored and bespoke to your individual company and as a result, the pricing will vary depending upon need.

Computer Rescue was set up to prevent Small – Medium business being ripped off with unnecessary IT Support costs and as a company its important that we gain and cultivate our business relationships with our customers and not just their wallet.

Get in touch with us today to find out more about the IT Support and Cyber Security services that we offer and how we may best be of assistance to you.  We can get you started with a FREE IT Network and Cyber Security Assessment to make sure that all of your systems are working as they should be.

Here’s a link to our article: What to expect to pay for IT support and cybersecurity services.

Alternatively, download our FREE E-Book: Switching Your I.T. – 21 Questions to Ask any IT Support Company and find out the answers to the questions that you should be asking before working with any IT Support company.

 

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