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Is it time to get a server for your business?

Posted on Monday, April 30 2018 @ 20:18:12 CEST by

The volume of data stored by businesses today is massive. With every workplace function handled electronically, there are countless files that must be stored on everything from customer information to payroll. Everything is right at your fingertips whenever you need it.

The downside is the storage space required to keep all this information on file. Getting everything securely stored with adequate space to permit normal daily function will quickly become an overwhelming proposition for single computers, even if they are adequately networked. At some point, your business may need to go with a server.

There are several different types of servers that you can get. The particular demands of your company will dictate which option is best for you.

The most common type is a file server. This type functions essentially as an oversized hard drive. It permits you to store large amounts of files that are shared over a network. A company using a 1u rack server is using a file server.

There are also print servers. These systems manage the various printers operating on a network and manage the process of creating hard copies of various files. Communications servers support websites, email, faxes, and remote access systems.

Database servers are a specialized file server that manages databases and requests for the data they contain. Application servers are utilized for shared software so that every individual workstation doesn’t have to have the software installed. Finally, domain servers monitor users of the resources to authenticate their identities.

Your business functions will determine which server or servers will best serve your business. Certainly, any firm with a strong e-commerce presence will need fast communications servers and ironclad firewalls and security through domain servers. Other companies will simply need to store lots and lots of spreadsheets or other standard files.

Whatever type of server you go with, security will be essential. Cybercrime is nothing new anymore; we’re all aware of the damage that can be done by hackers. It’s incumbent that we use all the tools available to keep our data—and our customers’ data, as well as our employees’ data—as secure as possible.

This starts with personnel. They need to be thoroughly trained in server functions so that they do not take actions that could permit a breach. A common example that is still missed far too often is password security. Make sure your staff uses strong passwords, and it would be very helpful to require monthly changes to them. Hacking is all about time; the longer a password goes unchanged, the better the chance someone finally breaks through.

But it’s more than just keyboard operators that are responsible for security. Your IT staff needs to keep all software current and maintain a robust strategy to protect against viruses, spyware, and malware. Web application admin areas should be set up with IP-based restrictions, and sensitive files should be stored outside of document roots or should have restricted access.

Keeping software current isn’t just about maintaining the latest versions. It also involves eliminating unused software. Programs that lurk on computers without being used can create an opening for hackers to quietly gain back-door access to the system, so if it’s not being used, your IT staff should uninstall it.

Servers can dramatically improve efficiency for a business. If you’re finding more and more files getting misplaced, experiencing trouble with internet functionality, or suffering hacks through your outside hosts, it may be time to call together your IT staff and start talking about how to implement a server system to get your data and operations more securely set up.


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