Small Business Servers — How to Select the Right One

September 17, 2007

Many small businesses operate with a basic IT infrastructure–a number of laptops or PCs working individually, or perhaps strung together as a peer-to-peer network so they can share files from one computer to another, instead of having a single, centralized server.
However, almost every business, no matter how small, can benefit from a server. These days, even small organizations should consider buying a server. They’re incredibly economical, they make it easy to add large amounts of storage space, and make it easy for organizations to back up, secure and organize important files or data.
For small companies, a small investment in an entry-level server will give them a huge step up in their ability to manage their data, increase availability and plan ensure reliability and security. In addition, centralized servers allow companies to more easily support mobile users (through remote access software) and easier file sharing.
A few tips for moving from a peer-to-peer network to a client-server network:
– Look for small business servers that are ready “out of the box.??? They should have a compatible operating system and be easy-to-use. Many companies such as Dell and others are providing preloaded business servers that are ready to roll.
– Don’t over invest. Today’s servers are much more flexible than servers from five years ago. As a business grows it’s easy to add additional storage, new applications or other devices to support changing business needs. Thus, organizations don’t need to worry too much about getting the “wrong??? server. Simply purchase one that is capable of managing the applications and data you have (as well as some room for growth).
– Look for servers that provide built-in security and mobile computing support. Both capabilities are critical for even the smallest organizations these days.

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