Making the right choices in business is essential. Making sure that all your bases are covered in every single sector makes for a smoothly run organization. And, while you need to make sure that you are doing everything you can for the company, you also need to be ahead of the curve. Keeping up to date with trends in marketing or tech is vital to ensure that your business will survive in the coming years. As businesses expand, the need for more means to keep track of information, processing information, and storing information. Storing information is a task that many smaller businesses can struggle with. There are means to keep your information stored adequately, but when a business needs to expand with the demands being put on the organization, this is when acquiring a server becomes a necessity for the amount of information that will be stored. Depending on the size of your company, or if you forecast a massive surge in your business, then deciding on what sort of server to get should be on your to-do list. So, where do you begin?
There are lots of big names that have servers aimed at the smaller sized business. But before you press ahead and go for one that has masses of storage there are some things that you need to ask yourself.
- Will you or your staff members need to be able to connect to the server from remote locations?
- Will the server be used for the purposes of backing up data?
- Is another purpose of buying the server file sharing?
- Will the server be used primarily for email?
- How much physical space can you make to allow room for the server?
After you have asked yourself these simple questions, it will help you to streamline your priorities and so you can get a server that is completely suitable for your business needs? It also helps you in terms of your spending, as servers with more wide-ranging uses will likely be a lot more costly.
After you have pinpointed what you need your server for, you can then decide whether you would like to have a physical server or one that is cloud-based. Both have their own individual benefits, but the obvious benefit of having a cloud-based one is the reduced need for physical storage space which is very suited to expanding companies.
Other benefits include it is easily scalable i.e. it can be upgraded, or additional functions can be added onto as needed. With the cloud comes a cloud service provider, and while these come at a charge, depending on what you need, you only pay for those services. And cloud service providers have many services that can help your business attain peace of mind with the amount of virus attacks and data thefts that occur. As cloud-based servers are not a physical entity, it means that data can easily be backed up. In the cloud, data can be backed up as regularly as every 15 minutes, which means that the loss of data is minimized if a total system malfunction was to occur. The benefit of cloud technology means that people are easily able to connect from anywhere using any type of device, whether it is a smartphone, tablet or a computer, which means total control over the information and total access at any given time.
With the upshots come the downsides. The internet connection speed will determine the user experience. With cloud service providers comes the data privacy issue, as they could have direct access to your data. The cloud is dependant on the internet, so if your connection or the cloud provider’s connection goes down, you won’t have any access to the information, which can slow businesses down immensely. The final issue is one of cost. The costs can outweigh the benefits depending on your company’s reliance on computers. If you are not as dependent on the computer’s uptime, it may not be worth your while.
There is another option. Instead of going to the cloud or buying a server, you could actually decide to purchase the component parts and build one yourself in-house. There are advantages to building one yourself. As there are many pre-built servers that require you to build some of the system yourself, then actually doing the whole thing by yourself is still a viable option.
When purchasing a server, there are some things that you should bear in mind.
- Be sure to set yourself a budget and stick to it.
- Decide on the leading vendors in the specific type of server that you need.
- Buy the best operating system.
- If you are purchasing a server, you need to factor in the option for expansion as your business gets bigger.
- Make sure you have sufficient IT support.
There are pros and cons to buying and building a server. The fact that you will have physical control over your server means that you can keep the data in-house. A lot of smaller companies do not have that luxury, so there is the option of colocation, where you can buy and store servers in a suitable location. Factoring in the cost of colocation can be difficult for small businesses, but if you are storing information at a different location, it does mean that the cost and hassle of storing a server in-house are reduced.
If you store a server in-house, third parties do not require access to the information. You do not necessarily need to have an internet connection if you need to access that data. If you are not as concerned about computer uptime, then this is a great option.
The downsides include the investment in hardware, which is critical if you do not have an expendable business income, and similarly, if you cannot afford to make space for the machine, if you are a small business, then it can prove troublesome. And with it being in-house, if something happens in the building, then data loss can be extremely detrimental to the company.
Choosing your server is a vital indicator of what you envision your business expansion potential to be. So, make sure it is the right choice!