A network server is a powerful computer connected to your business computer network. It allows you to run centralised IT services.
Do you need an office server?
Your network server can perform a number of important tasks. For instance:
Central file storage.
Instead of saving files on individual computers, you can store them securely on your office server.
A network server makes it easy for you to give different people access to different files, programs or data.
With a server, you can easily roll out new software or make changes across your company network.
Your network server can run an intranet (a kind of private internet containing company information) and share staff diaries.
If your business has more than ten computers, the benefits of a server may well outweigh the costs.
Choosing your Network server
There are some key considerations when choosing your network server:
- How many people will use it? A low capacity server may be suitable for up to ten people, but the more users you have, the more processing power, memory and storage you will need.
- What will you use it for? Some tasks, like saving files centrally, put a relatively low load on the server. Others, such as manipulating a large customer database, demand much more.
- What are your business growth plans? A server should last five years or so. It’s therefore very important your server is adequate for the long term.
Servers have special features, like high-capacity, ultra-reliable hard drives and extra network connections so they can handle many users.
There are a few key features to look for:
- A powerful processor. The processor (or CPU) is the engine that drives your server. A CPU with four or eight cores – these effectively deliver four or eight CPUs in one, making the server better at doing several things at once.
- Lots of memory. The memory (or RAM) of an office server helps it handle lots of requests from different users at once. You will need at least 16 gigabytes (GB) – and probably more.
- A fast, reliable hard disk. This is where you’ll store important business information. At least 1,000GB (also called 1 terabyte (TB)) is recommended