As your business grows and you need to hire more employees, the time comes for more collaboration and the need for better security for housing all your proprietary company information. You will be glad to find out that setting up a server for your small business doesn’t have to be difficult.
Everything you need to know about how to set up a server including what a server is and deciding between hardware or the cloud, choosing the right operating system, and the best way to set it up.
What is a Server
A server is one the most important pieces vital to your small business IT infrastructure. Even though it is technically a ‘computer’ serving information to another computer, it is the key component and device that can connect your monitor to the internet in order to run computer programs or processes that are part of a larger network.
Basically, whenever a computer share its resources with client machines they are considered servers. It’s highly likely your business already uses a server of some kind, even if you don’t realize it.
Choosing the Type of Server for your Small Business
Once you have two or more computers or even need remote access to the company network, it’s time you invest in a server. The key question is knowing in knowing exactly what you need from the server in order for it to suit your specific needs perfectly.
What do you need the server to do?
- Secure email hosting
- Website hosting
- Document storage
- Ecommerce hosting
- Hosting line-of-business applications
- Data backup and recovery
Cloud Servers for Small Business
Cloud computing can often provide a small business with access to tools, programs, and applications they need, but that might otherwise not be affordable. The low upfront costs of moving to the cloud, combined with these other benefits, make it a worthwhile consideration for almost any small business.
The adoption of cloud computing by many small businesses is soaring in popularity these past few years, and it’s easy to understand why. Cloud computing has a lower, upfront cost, plus many benefits that make it hard to imagine why any business would not make the move to the cloud.
Top 5 benefits of cloud computing for small business
- Increased efficiency
- Access it anywhere
- Improved cash flow
- Reduced risk during a crisis
- Lower costs
With cloud storage, there’s no need to rack and stack servers. Small businesses can scale workloads as needed, in just a few clicks using built-in features. This capability allows you to easily scale up, down and out. This flexibility dramatically cuts your overhead costs associated with monitoring and scaling resources manually.
On-premise Servers for Small Business
On-premises storage means your company’s server is hosted within your organization’s infrastructure and, in many cases, physically onsite. The server is controlled, administered, maintained, procured, etc. by your company and its in-house IT team, or an IT partner. Data and other information are shared between computers through your local network.
Some businesses like the idea of on-premises because it does not require an internet connection for onsite employees to access storage, making it fully available without the need for a good connection. However, recognize that having all of your data on the server limits access to only those working in the office—excluding today’s many remote workers. In addition, on-premises will require power and backup power (such as a generator), and a storage backup system, which will add to your costs.
How Much Does a Server Cost for a Small Business?
The average cost to rent a small business dedicated server is $100 to $200/month. You can also setup a cloud server starting at $5/month, but most businesses would spend about $40/month to have adequate resources. If you wanted to purchase a server for your office, it may cost between $1,000-$3,000 for a small business.
How to choose server for your small business
In order to determine if you are going to move to the cloud or keep it in house you need to consider the upfront cost, monthly fees, user-friendliness, flexibility, support and security.
Did you know that eighty percent of organizations that use on-premises servers still use the cloud for at least a portion of their data protection strategy.
How to set up a server for businesses
Consider what all you will need included such CPU, hard disk storage, RAM and the scalability that you will expect from your equipment. Many businesses these days are setting up hybrid server solutions in order to get the best ROI.
The ability for businesses to embrace both the public cloud and local data can improve their IT agility and maximize efficiency. In a hybrid solution, data and applications can move between on-premise servers and public clouds for greater flexibility and more deployment options. In other words, you can keep files that your LOB software uses on-premises, and the rest of your files and documents in the cloud.
While a hybrid solution seems to offer the best of both worlds for some companies, it really is a temporary solution. Today, small- and medium-sized businesses are already running almost half of their workloads in the public cloud and this number is forecast to rise. With that in mind, it’s hard to ignore the benefits of fully migrating to the cloud with understaffed and overworked IT departments.