What’s a server you ask? In this instance, we are addressing a fixed  server, not a cloud based server. A server is a computer that has been specifically designed to process data. It has powerful processing speeds, large data storage and software which will  manage your network of computers. A server is designed to be stationary and it’s built to be a workhorse of processing power. It has the power to keep everyone on your network sharing and collaborating. Instead of having to manually share files each end-user can be assigned the ability to access one centralized database and that in turn will allow each of you to view and update the information in real-time quickly and efficiently. Servers are also used to run operations  such as email, your office printers, calendar applications, sales leads and tracking, customer databases and other collaborative software packages.

Techsoup.org explains it this way:

” Improved File-Sharing and Data Storage

Likewise, with more staff comes more data generated and collected, and the greater need to share files and resources. A server facilitates sharing. One staff can save files on a server and other staff can look at the file and work on it. A server is also designed to help share other resources, such as databases and printers. In addition, servers are also designed with efficient storage and retrieval of data. They come equipped to store a lot of data, and allow you to add additional storage capacity when you need it.

3. A Better Backup System

As data and workstations become more centrally managed, the backup of data will likewise become less haphazard. Consolidating your data to a server allows you to target your backup processes to key folders at a central location. You will also be able to take advantage of more powerful, server-based backup software which offer additional backup and restore features, even for files located on individual workstations. As you move to a more sophisticated information management, you would need server-level backup software to effectively prepare for data loss and recovery.

4. Improved Networked Application Performance

Servers are designed to accommodate a number of users simultaneously. To boost performance, they are equipped to handle more memory and processing power than a regular desktop computer. If sharing files or a database from another staff’s computer in a peer-to-peer setup is affecting your productivity, it’s time to upgrade to a server-based system.

5. Ability to Run More Powerful Applications

Many applications, such as fundraising databases, constituent relationship management, collaborative project tracking, even email, require servers to operate. Like a lot of information technology, server-based applications are gravitating toward an Internet-based delivery model. However, you may still want to host some applications on your own server if you need complete control on the availability and security of your data. Some applications may also require a highly customized setup that would not be available unless set up on the premises.”

I have found that even when working with as few as three collaborators, having a server is a great tool. That way large data files aren’t clogging up my personal computer. They are stored on the server, I have access to them whenever I need them, and at the same time, my system stays fast and lean.

Is your company growing? Before it gets any bigger, give us a call, we can help you plan for the future and  run smoothly and efficiently today.

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