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Choosing the right office server for your business

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You’ve grown your business to a point where you need to invest in a server, which is great news. However, you now find yourself tasked with a difficult decision, which office server do I choose?

Deciding on the best office server for your business can be tricky, particularly as there are so many to choose from. Should you get your own onsite server? Do you need to run several servers at once? Or is relying on a cloud-based server better for your business?

Many people will tell you that choosing the right office server depends on the type of application you intend to run on it, and they are right. If your business has less than ten employees using computers, and all you need is file sharing, automated client data backup and remote access, then consider getting network attached storage (NAS). This type of file storage device is flexible and scale-out, meaning you can add additional data storage if needed.

However, if you have more than ten employees, you may want to consider other options which with larger storage space such as a tower rack, or blade server. Alternatively, cloud-based services have had a vast impact on how smaller business store their data. Virtual servers such as this do not need hardware installed, making it a cost-effective choice, and don’t need IT staff to monitor your onsite server, improving work productivity.

According to Tech Radar, you should ask yourself five questions when deciding on an office server for your business. These include:

  1. Are you buying a server for file sharing?
  2. Will your server be predominantly used for email?
  3. Does your workforce need to connect to the server remotely?
  4. Is your server going to be used for data backup?
  5. How much space do you have available to accommodate a server?

Key things to consider:

Space

Andy Hinxman, managing director of Keybridge IT said: “Look at the space you have, if you only have your office space, perhaps a physical micro tower is better for you. If you have access to a comms room, then rack mountable servers would be more suitable, provided you do not want a cloud or virtual server that is.

“Again, you need to consider the requirements and specification and need, and consider whether you can scale a physical server to meet your needs – such as adding extra memory in years to come.”

Scalability

If your office server can’t be adapted or updated with the latest requirements, then it may not be the most cost effective choice. Updating your server with modern software can get expensive, and if you have to replace your sever or add on more storage space, you could end up spending a greater amount then you had originally planned.

Albie Attias, managing director of IT hardware reseller, King of Servers said: “Many IT buyers are tempted to buy what they need right now (which often appeases the finance director). However, if the server is not scalable to meet an organisation’s future requirements, the IT buyer will find themselves pitching for more budget sooner than imagined.”

Reliability

Don’t forget to do your research and check the reliability of vendors and types of servers that are available. Mr. Attias said: “It’s very important to research the company you are buying your server from. Some resellers have been uncovered as selling products they say they have in physical stock, when they don’t.

“This can drastically extend lead times and result in an IT buyer waiting weeks for their server to be delivered. If you ask a reseller for the serial number of their product and they can’t provide it, it’s likely they do not have that item physically in-stock.”

When choosing your office server, don’t settle for a good deal or for something you feel you need now. Consider what your business will need in the future, how much you are willing to spend, and most importantly, which server suits your business and the type of data you intend to store. Only once you have determined these elements, you will be able to choose the best office server for you growing business.

 

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Tags: IT Transformation, Technology