I Need a Server!!!
This what small business owners tell me when they are looking for a centralized location for employees to store\retrieve files. Chances are they do need a server with all its bells and whistles, however it’s been my experience, especially with businesses under 10 employees, that they just need a centralized file access location.
It is very common for the non-technical person to think of a server simply as a file storage, thus using the term server but in really a server is a powerful tool for centralized network management and many other functions.
As the small business grows and the demands for specialized software, audit trails, needs to know access, and other network services
become relevant then there’s a justification for a Server. I don’t mean to say that businesses under 10 employees don’t need a server, we support many healthcare offices, marketing, companies, and financial institutions in New York City with 5 -7 employees where they really benefit from a server implementation but to say that one needs centralized storage does not make a strong case for a server.
A good alternative for a small business in need of centralized storage is a Network Access Storage, or NAS. A network Access Storage (NAS): in its basic form, a NAS is a file repository connected to a computer network making itself available to clients for file access through various protocols such as SMB, FTP, HTTP, etc.
NAS have improved greatly over the years, some NAS come with Windows Storage Server 2008-20012 Operating System that provides extra management and administration functions. This embedded Windows OS version cannot be confused with the full blown version of Windows Server for businesses but it does offer some of the same roles and features such as Printer Service, LDAP lightweight services, DHCP depending on the server edition.
Besides the File Storage functions, a NAS with Windows Storage Server can help small businesses by storing Hyper-V and SQL databases, enhanced bandwidth utilization at branch office when configured as BranchCache, use iSCSI to server remote disks, Print services, etc. So a startup or small business can ride on a NAS with Windows Storage Server and save on the initial capital investment of a new server and its management until the business demands for a most robust solution.
Not all NAS devices come with Windows Storage Server but many do, we have experience deploying many Western Digital Sentinel devices, I know HP also have some devices available and I’m sure many other vendors support it. That is when we come in, to help businesses make the best technical decision for their specific needs.
A Server or Windows Server: though the terms are not correctly interchangeable it is common for the small business community to reference to a Microsoft Windows Server when they use the word server, it has become acceptable in its own right because most businesses use a Windows Server as a place to store their data, or to be technically correct as a “file server”. Microsoft is one of the players in the Server realm, there’re also Mac, Linux, UNIX, Novell, and many more companies that have a server version of their operating systems (OS).
A Server is a system that provides network services such as: file server, email, fax, dhpc, authentication, web, database, etc, to clients requesting them. In its basic form, a server provides services and a client requests the services. As the server functionality increases so is the administrative need to keep in running smooth. As businesses mature they see the need for better administration and management, at that moment implementing the right server solution is paramount for the business operations.
If you find yourself at a crossroads choosing between Microsoft, Mac or any other server, or choosing one of options from the Microsoft Server family, you are not alone. I would suggest for you to choose instead a trusted technical advisor who would has the expertise to make the right decision based on your needs and requirements.
We have earned the right to be called the trusted technical advisor for many businesses in New York and New Jersey by providing customized solutions, outstanding support, and strategic technical vision to each and every customer. We have done hundreds of network implementation for small and medium organizations, and we would like to assist you too.
Contact us for more information about our solutions and services.
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