Server Networks for Small Businesses

In the world of modern small / mid-size businesses and organizations the use of computers is inevitable. Multiple computers and users can be organized in peer-to-peer or server-based networks (server networks). There are always several key factors trigerring critical questions and they simply won't go away until properly resolved, here they are:

  • - How do we share our data? (files, database content, etc.)
  • - How do we make sure that in case of a computer failure we have a complete backup of all our work?
  • - How do we collaborate? For instance: the case of several authors making changes to a single file. Tracking changes would be nice, an option to revert to a prior version would be cool, etc.
  • - How do we protect our data? Can we set permissions to certain data areas that would reflect the structure and the policies of our organization?

Even in the case of having just three individual computers finding an answer to these questions would become a dedicated, every-day job. Just imagine an array of media (such as Email attachments, CD's, Flash Cards, External Hard Drives) which are changing hands non-stop, carrying different versions of the same file, getting lost or stolen.

These unfortunate difficulties of peer-to-peer networks gave rise to a rapid development of a mighty technology named 'File Server' which is the core of Server-base network. Basically it is a very reliable computer which always provides access to data over the office network. This solution is more expensive than a peer-to-peer approach however one can easily see its great advantages:

  • It is a Server-based Network that can provide redundancy and security to all information of our organization.
  • It is a Server-based Network that can gracefully resolve challenges of organizing your data, establishing and maintaining various personnel permissions.
  • It is a Server-based Network which gives you an ultimate peace of mind when it comes to the safety of your data because it can be centrally backed up with multiple copies stored across several secure locations.
  • Management and technical support becomes much more versatile in the environment where all computers are orchestrated by a server. It consumes substantially less time (money!) and it provides superior monitoring and preventive actions.

We can go on and on about the advantages of Server-based networks ('Server Networks' for short) however the whole world adapted this technology decades ago and if you are growing your business beyond the use of a couple computers it is almost imperative to establish a server solution. In fact, even single users often acquire a server just to ensure a solid data storage with [redundancy + backup] and a synchronization mechanism between a laptop and a desktop for example.

As an illustration for a server network of medium complexity please take a look at this Visio diagram:server_network_web

The core of a server network is often a Microsoft Small Business Server. It natively integrates with other computer technologies such as Microsoft Office, Email solutions, 3rd party Accounting or Law Applications and therefore it is a popular choice among organizations of various nature. There are also other solutions based on Linux or Apple.

Allora primarily specializes on Microsoft Servers simply because of the price/capability ratio. Small Businesses get "a good bang for the buck" thanks to the policy of Microsoft favorably pricing their products. Firms providing 3rd party extensions to Small Business Server, for example Avast, also bring a considerable price advantage compared to the enterprise level product line. End result: affordable small business servers and fully capable server networks for small business.

If you would like to make the most out of a server-based network for your organization - please don't hesitate to schedule a free one hour consultation.