Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Does your Business need a Server?

Is Our Business Ready for a Server-based Network?

Many small business owners are reluctant to interrupt operations and invest the time needed to switch the companies’ computers from a peer-to-peer (P2P) network to a server-based one. While the fears of down time may be understandable, these entrepreneurs are ultimately compromising their businesses.

Why? By moving from P2P to a server-based network, small business owners should discover that the long-term gains in efficiency, productivity and, ultimately, profitability, will far exceed any short-term losses that could be incurred by making the switch.

Small Business Networking
A P2P network allows employees to share content files – anything from audio, video, data or any file in digital format – between their computers. In a P2P, the computers, or nodes, essentially act as both servers and client systems, allowing employees to pull files from different computers connected to the network.

At first glance, P2P seems to be a viable solution for budget-conscious small businesses. But the reality is much different. The fundamental problem with P2P is that it drastically reduces the processing speed of each node. This is because each computer in a P2P must act as a both a repository for information and workstation. For example, while you are working on a document from your computer, one of your employees may be retrieving a different file also stored on your computer. As a result, your computer slows down to fulfill both requests.

A server-based network instantly wipes out this headache, because the server – and not individual computers – is the information hub. As a result, your company can realize dramatic improvements in efficiency, productivity – and the bottom line – in the short term and well down the road.

Server Purpose and Set Up
Because they are designed to be considerably faster than P2P networks, server-based networks would seem to be the obvious choice for businesses of all sizes. But for years, many small businesses have been intimidated by servers, believing them to be expensive and challenging to set up, maintain and support. Today, however, server technology is affordable and within reach of smaller companies.

For example, Megan Duckett, founder of Sew What?, Inc. -- a company in Rancho Dominguez, Calif. that produces custom-made curtains, drapes and stage settings for concerts tours, theaters and other special events – recently upgraded her server-based network to allow her business to keep up with rapidly growing customer demand. After installing a server, Duckett and her staff saw immediate productivity improvements.

"Our Web site helped our business grow more than 75 percent in 2006 and managing all of the business it generates requires a lot of storage – from global customer information to thousands of drapery and fabric images to QuickBooks files," said Duckett. "With the power and scalability of our new server, we still have plenty of room to grow and soon will be able to host our Web site in-house. I never dreamed that the tiny business I started on my kitchen table would grow into the global business we have today."

Beyond the ability to provide dramatically faster processing speeds than P2P networks, server-based networks offer a wide range of business benefits, including one advantage that small businesses are increasingly coveting: the ability to better manage security of information and store all business-critical information in one repository.

Because the goal of many companies is to grow, small businesses are looking for technology that can grow with them. Servers that are affordable – yet fully scalable – can do exactly that. In fact, it’s not unusual for a company to begin with only a handful of employees and grow to dozens, using the same server along the way.

Because the goal of many companies is to grow, small businesses are looking for technology that can grow with them. Servers that are affordable – yet fully scalable – can do exactly that. In fact, it’s not unusual for a company to begin with only a handful of employees and grow to dozens, using the same server along the way.

  • File and printer sharing

  • Increased e-mail limits and shared calendars

  • Desktop faxing

  • Remote Access & Remote Workers

  • Internet and intranet access

  • Improved multi-level firewall security

  • Simplified management

  • Flexibility to add additional servers

These and other potential benefits explain why small businesses are increasingly beginning with – or switching from P2P networks to – server-based networks.

Servers are built to manage data from multiple users at the same time. While one person is saving files another person could be retrieving files at the same time.

Having a server-based network is also a great way to help ensure reliability. One way servers accomplish this is by having multiple internal hard drives. For instance, if you get a server with two hard drives you can have a mirror setup where the data that you save to the server is being copied to both hard drives. If one hard drives happens to fail then the other hard drive keeps the server running and has all of your files intact and accessible.

Another way a server can help ensure reliability is through the use of multiple power supplies which are available. On a personal computer, if your power supply goes out, you’re pretty much down. However, if a server has redundant power supplies and one of them goes out, the other power supply will take over ensure continuous activity.

Types of Servers
Because every business is different, we offer various servers to meet the needs of our customers. Tower servers can deliver key features crucial to small businesses and remote facilities. They provide high performance in free-standing formats in with rich, highly configurable solutions. The latest chipset technologies can boost versatility, helping make them extremely reliable for even the most complex business needs.

Rack servers are reliable, space-saving solutions designed for expandability. These servers are capable for a range of performance and scalability requirements for different businesses. They help you protect your mission-critical business applications and make the most efficient use of your server space.

Support & Guidance Offered
To help decide which servers provide the type of benefits you need to meet the unique business goals of your company, please use the link below to find out more information.
To learn more, please contact ZoNE-X consulting for more information

Toll Free: +1 (877) 77-ZONE-X (1-877-779-6639)