Many small businesses today run on connected technologies that can include not just networked computers but also printers, copiers, and phone systems. If you are just starting your business or your hardware is not yet linked, you may be looking to purchase one or more servers to manage your machines. Servers are stand-alone devices that connect and coordinate a company network. Investing in an expensive server solution can be intimidating. The following checklist will help you make the right decision.
Choose One That Fits Your Needs
The server, which often looks like a tower PC, is a business workhorse. For example, many companies keep their servers running continuously. The device may contain several costly drives spinning in unison. You may have a large number of employees requiring access to network processes. Be prepared to invest in a high-end unit if these criteria apply.
If you continually shut down your server because it does not need to be on at all times, or if you have few employees, you can budget for a less expensive machine. However, do not skimp on performance hardware, such as RAM chips, or you might find that your operations start to lag. Remember, the server will perform the brunt of the processing for tasks. Determine your budget, and then stretch a bit more to future-proof your system.
Keep It Clean and Cool
Secure an isolated space to house the server. Most importantly, you need a cooled area because servers run hot. Also, you should place it where you can minimize dust. Both heat and dirt will compromise reliability.
Choose Your Operating System
A server running Windows is a solid choice for many small businesses since Microsoft provides timely updates and support. However, other proprietary options abound, including reliable Linux-specific ones. Here is where you need to research to find what will work best with the software applications you choose to run.
Guard Your System
Don’t make security an afterthought. How will you keep an eye on your intranet, server, hardware, and software to ensure reliability and safety? Spend time investigating the best server monitoring software for your needs. Consider how the monitoring software works with antivirus suites you are considering. Also, plan for a robust backup system that you can adjust for routine scheduled tasks. Finally, invest in premium power surge protection.
Of course, you will need to hire or outsource IT support staff to maintain your system. If you enlist their advice before you make your final server choice, you can be more certain that your decisions are optimal for your business.