Why Should Small Businesses Invest in a Windows Server?Vanessa Venugopal
Many small business owners don’t buy into the need to invest in an operating system server. They think that it’s an extra expense on their part, and they can find out ways to protect their business and data.
However, server solutions don’t have to be complicated and expensive. In fact, if you own a small business with more than 5 to 6 employees, you must consider getting a dedicated server.
In this article, we would be discussing the importance of business servers. And, we would be providing the best Windows server for your small business without the need to break your bank.
What is a Server?
A Server is known to be a computer or a device that manages network resources. Its function is to carry out a simple task, and that is to serve another computer or device (client). Moreover, it manages network resources such as transmitting data, hosting of websites, emails, and even controlling access.
It is connected to the main router where all computers are connected in order to access the services they use such as receiving and sending an email, control access, and so on.
Servers are often mistaken for a typical desktop PC or operating system. It may have some similarities but a PC cannot run as a true server. It can simply run applications and other tasks built into the system. Their capacity and technology are not engineered for such purpose.
A server is made for a complex task- managing, storing, sending, and processing. It works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s a non-stop job.
It has features not seen on a desktop PC, such as Dual processor (equipped or capable), Redundant hard drive or power supply, hot-swappable drives or component, scalable, and process data efficiently.
There are different types of servers used by business owners. Here are commonly known servers.
- File Server: Access to files and data stored centrally.
- Database Server: Use of another computer or database to store, access, and upload data.
- Web Server: Delivers requested web pages to various client browsers.
- Mail Server: Stores and sorts of emails.
- Cloud Server: Store valuable data.
Windows Server vs Windows Operating System
Now that we have defined what a server is, it’s best to differentiate it from a Windows operating system. Windows Server is a line of an operating system that Microsoft has produced to be hosted in a server, which means it’s made for businesses. But the two seem to be confusing because they have some similarities but their functions are highly different from one another.
Both Windows OS and Server have a desktop, a task view button, a start menu, and you can even install a browser into both. However, the similarities only end there. Other functions and features are unique to the Server.
The Server version can or can’t be run using a Graphical User Interface or GUI and local login capabilities. Microsoft often recommends choosing Nano Server to use less space when installing the standard server.
The Windows Server version includes the following features unique to it.
- Windows Deployment Services
- DHCP Services
- Active Directory Domain Services
These services are found on Microsoft’s server version, although you can install a third-party app on your Windows OS if you want to have the features above. It often servers to deploy remote access, create static IP address, and joining other domains to the main network domain.
Extensive Hardware Support
Unlike the normal Windows, which has a limit to its RAM storage, Servers have greater RAM capacity to support many users, remote access, and a lot more activities requiring the use of more powerful hardware.
Even the processor differs between the two as the server has no limit to its cores.
Much Expensive than normal Windows
Servers are expensive because it’s not meant for individual users, instead, it is designed for businesses. Windows OS is a lot cheaper. However, for businesses, the price is affordable as compared to other servers in the market. Furthermore, the price also differs depending on the number of licenses needed and the size of the business.
There are servers designed specifically for small businesses, and it is even much more affordable than those made for large corporations.
Reasons Why You Need A Windows Server
Security is one of the most important parts of a business that employers or owners should invest in. Without the proper security to protect your small business, it could lead to loss of data, customer, money, and eventually the closure of a business.
Therefore, investing in the right protection such as using antivirus software or getting a server can protect your business.
Server adds a layer of protection for your data. It works by providing access to individuals with authority. You can create individual or group accounts for particular users. For example, employees’ personal records can only be accessed by the HR team. Other departments have no authority or accounts to view the files.
Furthermore, when only certain people have access to your data, this gives protection from outside or online threats. When a hacker gets into your system, it would be difficult for them to access the data without login credentials.
Small businesses make up 28% of data breaches. It shows that business owners must invest in protecting their data by scheduling a backup process and storage for their data.
Server provides a centralized facility for businesses to back up their valuable information and data. It backs up everything, including emails. You can reduce the hassle and worry of losing your data and improve productivity in the workplace.
Investing in a server increases productivity with continuous workflow and no unnecessary interruptions. Even though there are issues like PC failure, internet connection issues, or loss of power supply, it won’t affect your operation.
A server has redundant power supplies. Any loss of one power supply won’t affect the system, including the storage spaces or systems. It uses multiple hard drives that work in a RAID configuration to avoid the loss of data and allows continuous workflow.
With this feature of a server, it increases productivity and brings more sales and benefits to your business.
Seamless Remote Access
With everything that’s happening to the world, the workplace has changed from in-house to working remotely. In addition, even before the arrival of the pandemic, there has been already a great transition in employment. Through the years many companies have been hiring remote workers, either for a short term or long term employment.
The use of a server can help in remote access for most remote workers. One example of servers that provide great remote access is Microsoft Windows Server 2008. It allows you to add a certain number of remote users by default. Therefore, no matter where your employees are, they are able to continue their work with no problems. They can access valuable files they need.
Furthermore, remote employees can access the company’s email through web browsers and on any device.
We all know the service Microsoft has provided billions of users. From the operating system to their cloud-based server, it only shows how dedicated and excellent their products are for your small business.
Here are a few Microsoft Windows servers you can choose from for your small business.
For small businesses, the use of Microsoft Small Business Server products would better fit the needs of the company. It provides enterprise server solutions that have the features you need to run your business.
Windows Small Business Servers
Microsoft Windows Server 2016
If you have been using Windows Server 2012 R2 it would be great to upgrade to Windows Server 2016. Although it is designed for large corporations, small businesses can rip the benefits from it. Furthermore, it would be an excellent investment especially when you are growing your business.
There are three different versions: Standard, Datacenter, and Essentials. The latter is best for small businesses. Windows Server Essentials (WSE) 2016 can support up to 25 users and 50 devices. It also provides Remote Web Access, remote client deployment, on-premise server, and Office 365. Get to access on-site storage and applications, and integrate Exchange and Azure for off-site backup.
Windows Server 2019
The latest of the Windows Server family, Windows Server 2019 also brings a new level and features that small businesses can use. The security of the 2019 version is from the foundation of the 2016 version. Therefore, network and critical data are safe and secured.
The Essentials version is perfectly tailored-fit for small businesses, bringing an operating system that delivers only the best. It supports up to 25 users and 50 devices. It doesn’t require the need to purchase Client Access Licenses (CAL).
Moreover, it allows the integration of Azure Site Recovery Services and Azure Virtual Network.
Windows Server 2012
Another Microsoft Server that can be used by small businesses is the 2012 version. The essential option is for small businesses, providing unique features such as remote Web Access, automatic backup, storage, Full System Client Restore, and access email using mobile devices.
These server OS are excellent additions to protect, store, and access your files when needed. Microsoft always ensures to bring only the best service to businesses and their clients.