Does your small business need a server?
Why does your small business need a server?
In this data heavy age, you might ask “Do I need a server for my business”? Is a physical, on-premise server really necessary? You can either buy or rent a dedicated server to securely store files and retain full control over your data.
A dedicated server can simplify the management of multiple computers. You can have all your emails, documents and media files stored and backed up for all transactional and operational purposes including data recovery.
What is a server?
In simple words, servers are like supercomputers that connect users, hardware, and software. They store large amounts of information and help users improve their work.
Imagine having five employees and just one printing machine, you can set a server so all your personal can use the same printer. Or you can host your eCommerce in your servers so you can have control over the information handled by your site.
Servers can be used for several purposes in business, it doesn't matter if you are just a start-up or a strong-based business. A server can help you improve your processes and reduce your costs in long term.
Servers typically come in three different forms – rackmount, tower and blade.
Operating your own server means that you can tightly control file sharing with all employees and clients as well.
However, for small businesses that are just starting out, servers may not be one of their priorities, considering the cost of cloud storage, too. A small business won’t stay small forever, with each new member of staff who needs to collaborate on documents and other files, the need to use a small business server grows exponentially.
As business intelligence and data grows, it becomes more and more crucial to be able to find information quickly and effectively.
For example, you may be in a situation where you have multiple users who need to have access and work with the same data. Even small businesses need a centralized data storage location. Maybe your data can't be stored in the cloud for legal reasons or you start to use applications that require a secure database.
Of course, the need for a server still depends on what kind of service or product your business offers, but you should be ready for growth.
Servers are an investment that can really provide real value to businesses of all sizes. Take into consideration costs for a dedicated or shared cloud server vs a physical server in your office. A physical server located in your office can be more cost-effective in the long run, as you won't need to pay a monthly service fee.
The average cost to rent a small business dedicated server in our Private Cloud is around £99-£139/month. Here at Helpdesk Heroes we offer a wide range of servers, so please get in touch for a bespoke solution.
If you want to purchase a physical server for your office, it may cost between £400 up to £1000 on average for a small business. If you want to be fully in control of your server's hardware specifications, we offer an option to colocate your physical server at one of our datacentres with 24/7 high-level security.
What does a server do for your small business?
Small business can use a server for several purposes like:
- Secure email hosting
- File Sharing
- Cloud Storage
- Hosting a website or eCommerce store
- Hosting SaaS apps such as customer relationship management, invoice management, employee management, or planning and collaboration software.
- Supporting multiple virtual servers
- Backing-up business data
- Storing and collaborating on documents
- Providing virtual desktops to employees
Hardware Servers or Cloud Servers? Which is best for your small business?
If you are here is because you want the best option for your business, an option that brings you a solution, but you don’t want to pay for luxury devices that you won’t use completely. You need a server that fits like a glove for your business needs.
You can find 2 types of servers for business, hardware and cloud. Let’s start with Hardware.
As we said before, servers are like a supercomputer to keep all your information in one place. For example, you can use your server as a private cloud solution to backup all your vital business information, host your eCommerce site and share documents with your team.
The first thing you have to know is that if you want a hardware server you need the physical space for it. This includes a dedicated room, installation, backup power, cooling system and security.
Having a hardware server is not like installing a desktop computer, it requires an IT professional team to handle it.
3 Types of Hardware Servers
How much does a business server cost?
Cost may vary depending on the server you get, but it won’t be less than £400. If you get a quote less than that, you better start asking some questions about it.
It will depend on the capacity, speed and type. Tower servers could be a good option for start-ups with low budget, but a rack could be a more useful investment for moving to the next level.
Hardware servers may be expensive at the first sight, but these kinds of servers are cheaper in the long term. You just have to make one payment and keep an IT team checking the server every three months.
Cloud servers aren’t as fast or efficient as physical servers but are the best option for businesses that don’t have the resources to get a hardware server or that don’t have enough space for a physical one.
You won’t need to make complex installation nor worrying about backup power by getting a cloud server solution, since everything will be in the cloud.
Cloud servers prices
Cloud-based servers are way cheaper than physical ones, and you can find excellent options for £99 per month. You don’t have to invest in racks, physical space, cables nor anything, but a subscription to a private cloud designed to run as a server.
This kind of server can be more expensive in the long term, because you will end paying almost £1,200 per year. Anyway, this is an excellent option if your team is small and doesn’t require a hardware server solution yet.
6 reasons why your small businesses need a server
Firstly, one of the most significant advantages of having a server is network security. Most servers have built-in firewall protection and security-enhanced features to protect your business from any unauthorised access. It protects valuable data, assets and resources.
You no longer need to send data through a public network when using a server. This is because all your employees can connect directly to the server via a customised VPN.
With your own server you are fully in control of access policies and following best practices you can avoid data loss even if your business is targeted by a ransomware attack. Using a 3rd party server exposes your business to other systems' weaknesses that you have no ability to manage or change.
Tougher security is critical in protecting your business to reduce the risk of spreading viruses or malware in your data and computer. If a breach is detected, it can be dealt with more swiftly. In addition, it also helps minimize the spread of malicious software on your entire network.
To ensure maximum security, your business should use strong passwords. Make sure all communications are encrypted, install firewalls and antivirus software and always keep operating systems up to date.
2. Mobility & accessibility
Over this last year due to lockdown, the importance of mobility has grown significantly. Employees can work remotely without being present in the office. Server makes it easy for you to access all the data you need, anytime, anywhere through smartphones or web-based applications.
Small businesses can benefit a lot from servers in terms of mobility. Having a mobile workforce gives your employees the freedom to work virtually and access resources at their time of convenience and whenever they want to.
With redundant backup power supply, the server system will continue to operate and serve your business even if you experience external problems like loss of power supply. Servers prevent loss of data and your business can continue to operate, workflow will not be affected and downtime will be reduced.
A server is an effective solution to some serious issues. A well-built server doesn’t stop when a part of a system fails to work properly.
Small businesses that operate online are reliant on web-based transactions, so uptime is an extremely important factor to consider. Cloud servers are connected via a high-speed capacity and high bandwidth internet backbones, guarantee 100% uptime and are not limited to a local ISP or slower office connections.
Cloud servers have usually multiple connectivity redundancies and are best used when businesses are dependent on online transactions and operations. In case a single connection to the server is enough, an in-house physical server is sufficient.
You would actually see a decrease in maintenance costs, hardware upgrades, and other IT requirements if you move your business to the cloud. You’ll spend less on expenditures and you will have reduced energy costs depending on the type of server you’re using. A server reduces employee downtime and makes every workday productive.
Traditional servers, on the other hand, will still cost a business more than that of virtual servers. The hardware needs a physical home, access to power, ventilation and cooling mechanisms. Virtual servers are good options for small business owners since it still provides traditional server experience without the need to be physically on site.
There’s no need for investing in hardware, and reduces software investment.
5. Easy to scale and innovate
Servers are important for overall growth and expansion.
Allows you to set up different devices, add new applications with ease. It allows you to grow your business with little to no disruption to anyone else in the business.
The amount of time you spend in your business when you have a server will be lessened, because work is organized and is systematic.
That gives you more chances of expanding your business. Small business owners can innovate, do something new or create more products. With servers, it is possible to explore new ideas out there to help you with your business. You can easily utilise resources you’ll need to innovate your business or products.
6. Back Up Facility
Data loss can be catastrophic to your business and all businesses should back up their data on a regular basis. Servers can help you recover your data and make the data back up process easier. You’ll never need to worry about data storage and back up. A small business would be more productive with servers.
Peer-to-peer networks don’t always provide business security and resource sharing especially during this time where physical contact is also limited. Servers play an essential role in performing tasks for your business. A server enables smoother business operations, it’s reliable and flexible and can support your business through these challenging times.
What is the next step?
If you want your business to grow, you need a cost-effective solution, infrastructure upgrades and a sophisticated server solution. You will be surprised that with all these benefits, they’re not cost-prohibitive and will end up saving you a lot of time and money.
Deciding what you need for your small business network is our specialty here at HelpDesk Heroes. If you just need someone to explain the technical terms you can't wrap your head around or you want us to do an in-depth technological research and analysis of your business operations, relevant available cloud services and hardware - we are more than happy to help and find the best solution that's specific to your business.
You may find that a cloud solution can meet your needs better than a traditional on-premises server.
Looking for a small business server? talk to our team about the otions available.
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