Choosing the Right Server for Your Business
Regardless of how many PCs a business has, they all need to communicate and share with each other: they need to be able to access shared documents, print to shared printers, access a common database, or any other of the myriad organizational functions. Although sharing between individual PCs is possible when there are a handful of computers, it becomes much more efficient to use a server in larger organizations.
A server, to clarify; is a computer or hardware device that is connected to a network, runs software, and manages network resources for system users. Basically, servers hold, manage, send and process data.
So, what is the best way of selecting a server? First, it is important to think about how your organization will use the server. Is it primarily to send files for printing, or will it handle larger requests such as databases and e-mail?
There are several types of servers, according to Wikipedia, some of which are dedicated to a single function. Single-function servers are quite popular for small businesses:
- An application server is a server dedicated to running specific software applications like CRM, ERP, Accounting, BI, etc
- File servers allow documents and data files to be shared, secured, and backed up from one place. Almost without exception, the first server in any small business is a file server.
- Database server provides database services to other computers programs or servers.
- Print servers allow you to share a single printer among many users.
- Mail servers move and store e-mail within the business and the Internet.
- Web Server is responsible for HTTP service.
- Collaborative workspace servers, make it easy for staff to share data and work collaboratively.
Servers come in all dimensions, but for a small business, the best choice is a dedicated entry-level server in a tower configuration. A tower is economical, efficient, and doesn’t require any special kind of installation. Most servers can be ‘rack mounted’, meaning fitted into an equipment cabinet.
Your Server Storage Options:
Since you’ll be using a server to store all of your business data, storage is very important. Servers can easily scale in size, allowing you to increase operations as your company grows.
“Most servers support drives with high-speed Serial ATA or SATA interfaces – if you’re looking for the ultimate in hard disk performance you’d want a server that supports Serial Attached SCSI or SAS drives. SATA and SCSI systems typically have built-in support for Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks or RAID, a technology that provides varying levels of data protection. RAID 1, for example, writes the same data to two hard disks so if one drive goes bad, your data is safe on the other. RAID 5 uses a sophisticated error-checking system that lets the server reconstitute the contents of a drive that goes bad.” –Techradar
Network Attached Storage or NAS is, put simply, an external hard drive with a network interface. Unlike USB drives, NAS drives do not depend upon a host PC to make them visible on a network. NAS drives offer the same functionality as a comprehensive server network at a fraction of the prices. In essence, you get a file server, print server, mail server, anti-virus, web server, an FTP server, all inexpensively – you just need to pay for the hardware. NAS hard drives are also very compact, so they are easy to store and manage.
For small businesses and mid-sized businesses, the most common choice is an application server, why? because your software vendor highly recommends it. You shouldn’t run your business-critical data on a regular desktop computer, even more, when you have several users and offices depending on it. The main advantage of application server includes:
- Data and code integrity
- Centralized Configuration
One of the most common software hosted on the cloud is the ERP and the market leader remains still including SAP, Oracle, and Sage according to Louis Columbus at Forbes. Each software will provide you with the hardware requirement.
These specific software tools can be really useful by including the life cycle of the project. But if you are not provided (or don’t trust it) with hardware requirements by your software vendor you cold go “backward” with your hardware vendor or cloud server provider, like the Intel Estimator.
In conclusion, the intended use of your server will be the one that will allow you to choose the right hardware for it, but the great benefit of having a cloud hosting provider like 3exhosting is that no matter what you choose you will always be able to upgrade or downgrade for hardware virtually without business interruptions. Build a dedicated server for your company in minutes with 3EX Hosting’s user-friendly interface.