Working in a small business teaches you a lot. Through countless experiments, you’ve likely learned that having the ability to share projects and to communicate seamlessly is key to success. A server can help you do that.
A server is a remote computer that is always on and connected to the internet. It’s recommended that most businesses get one because servers can help your team share files of any kind, work remotely and collaborate easier.
If you haven’t already found one for your office, it’s time to start shopping for a business server. But, because it’s your business, picking the right server can be a difficult choice. We want to help reduce some of that stress, so here are a few options you should consider:
A cloud-based server appeals to many for one simple reason: Convenience. You don’t have to install it or see it. It simply hosts your files.
Cloud-based servers are also nice because you can upgrade at any time, there are no storage costs and you can usually find 24/7 support should something go wrong. There are truly very few cons to using a cloud-based server.
That being said, some will argue that those few cons outweigh the benefits. Paying monthly fees, for example, can add up quickly. And there’s really no replacement for being able to physically access your files when you need them — particularly when something goes wrong. If your business experiences an Internet outage, you will not be able to access the files until you have access again.
That’s why some people turn to a dedicated server.
A dedicated business server is a physical computer that remains on and connected to the internet within your home or office. There’s a single, up-front hardware and installation cost, which could save you thousands in the long run.
If you know you want the uninterrupted access that comes with dedicated servers, start looking at what processor, bandwidth, memory, operating system, storage and application you want. Determining those traits will help you pick the best server for your needs.
Upkeep, however, can be price. Servers need to be stored in an incredibly clean and temperature-controlled space. Those electricity charges can add up. And if it shuts down for whatever reason, you may need to call in tech support or troubleshoot by yourself.
Finally, an in-house server would require you to handle any necessary updates.
It’s truly a matter of personal preference: Some think saving money and increasing access makes in-house servers better than cloud-based ones. Others would rather take the physical upkeep out of the equation. And, finally, some want to find an option somewhere in the middle.
Enter the data center.
If you want the security of an in-house server and the ease of a cloud-based one, a data center could be the way to go.
Data centers typically offer cloud servers, dedicated servers and hybrid servers. Let’s go over all three:
- Cloud servers, as we mentioned, store files digitally. Depending on how much you pay, though, you might have to share space with other businesses.
- Dedicated servers are singular and belong to your team. These are more expensive but good for those who need a lot of storage. It’s worth mentioning that you also have the option of creating your own climate-controlled data center to host a dedicated server — but it will cost you.
- And hybrid servers combine aspects of both cloud and dedicated servers. Different businesses get access to the server, which stores files both physically and digitally. These are ideal for smaller businesses that are still figuring out how much digital space they require.
We know there are a lot of different servers out there, and picking one can seem intimidating. While you shop around, keep in mind these models and their various features so you make the best-informed choice for your small business.