The most common reason to install a server is access control – who has access to what. Some people shouldn’t be looking at employee HR records, while others actually need access to these files to process accounting, payroll, and evaluations. Another place to find servers in use is where a design department has a bunch of preliminary source material that should not end up in the marketing department. Access is restricted between these departments so preliminary work doesn’t accidentally go out as a real advertisement.
Beyond compartmentalizing the network, other access controls determine who can work remotely and who can’t, which accounts can or can’t install software or have access to corporate email/calendars, and many more features. Accounts that don’t have remote access will never be exposed to the internet (thus eliminating one possible method of someone hacking into the system remotely).
For companies larger than about 3 employees, enabling simple collaboration between people to produce your corporate documents, reports, invoices, product development or marketing materials is what a server was designed to do. Everyone has a single source to access files so they each can view, print, or improve documents that are regularly used by the company.
If you’re a home customer, you might want your own personal server just so all the computers in your house have access to your music or movie library to save space from computer to computer. They can be streamed easily to all devices in the house.
Servers perform many tasks via the scheduler. Backups run automatically so you never have to remember to burn CDs or copy files onto your USB flash drive ever again. Automating your backups gives you options for how often, and where to store the backup data – such as to an off-site location.
Don’t have a server? No problem. You can automate your backups too! Most computers come with backup capability. We set it up and you’re ready to rock and roll.
Servers are particularly useful for these other areas:
Want extra copies of your data in different places? No problem. Many platforms offer the ability to sync data from place to place. With a persistent VPN connection to another office, some programs can sync changes within minutes or seconds.
Giving someone remote access to the network enables you and your employees to work from anywhere. Let people log in from home, mobile 4G and LTE, a hotel, anywhere they can get internet. Did you forget your presentation? No problem with remote access enabled, just log in and grab what you need.
Remote access can work several ways, you can get a remote view of your computer screen, or you could get direct VPN access to copy files. Before you go and invest in remote access software like LogMeIn (which is a great product), contact us first because you might already have the capability you need for free and it just needs to be turned on.
If you’re not already using Microsoft Exchange, you’re missing out. Exchange is all about collaboration between people on the system. There are shared email folders, shared calendars, shared contacts, shared checklists… well lots of sharing. It’s Outlook on steroids and it’s awesome. Once you make the switch, you won’t want to go back to anything else. Some data can also be set to sync with your phone or tablet. Consider an Exchange Server to boost productivity today.
There are so many different programs people use, centralizing updates is a very handy thing to have available. Microsoft servers can auto-deploy software like Windows updates, antivirus updates, and other common programs with regular updates. This frees up time for IT administrators to focus on other areas such as infrastructure expansion, new software evaluations, and system maintenance. We like to make use of this technology as often as possible and we encourage you to do the same.