Small Business Brief

Technology & Software

What do Servers do? Is A Dedicated Server Necessary?

With the average data breach now set to cost around $4 million a pop, it’s vital that you take your data and how you store it seriously. If you leave your data just sitting around on a shared server, so to speak, you could be leaving yourself open to losing customers and profit. If you’re wondering, what do servers do, they do more than just store your data.

Here are four ways you could be using a dedicated server for your business.

1. Are You Setting Up Business Email?

If you’re new to the concept, you might have never thought much about where your email data lives, how it’s stored, or what it takes to set the email up. If you run a business where you want to have total control and ownership of the information that comes in and leaves your business, you need your own server. Small businesses need to have servers so that they can manage their own security needs and expand as much as needed as a business grows.

While you or your company might start out by using a free e-mail service or something hosted on the cloud, that’s not a good permanent solution. You’ll have much more robust needs as your business grows older and as you start to gather more data.

Later on in the life of your business, it’s going to be valuable for you to have the ability to control a remote archive. If your C-level executives are having a meeting with people in another city and want to bring up some examples of projects they’ve done in the past, they need email. They need to have a rich inbox with many terabytes of data that are encrypted and protected.

You can send files that are as big as you want when you control your email server.

2. It Helps With Collaboration

When you need a lot of people working on centralized data, it’s good to have control over your data. While there are some great free cloud solutions, it’s best to have everything under your control.

If you’re sharing server space or going with a free solution, you’re going to hit limits at the number of users or the amount of bandwidth you’re allowed.

Small businesses can use attached storage devices when they need to share files. If you’re just sending a small document, an email might suffice. However, if you’re going to onboard a new staff member or get them set up with all of your licenses at once, you should seek another solution.

Having your own server or NAS is the way to get this ball rolling. If you’re working on managing user permissions on a third-party tool, you might not get the kind of security that you need. When it’s time to scale up, you might as well have your own system for all of the setup that you’ll need to put into it.

3. Your Staff and Clients Demand Security

When you start using more sophisticated applications, you’re going to need a secure database. Your database is where the information that the applications you rely on store information. This means that user login information or even customer credit card information are all going to be stored here.

There could be POS stations or order histories for secure orders that your customers have made with you living there. There may be time clock software that controls your staff’s punch in and punch out times, which is going to directly impact your payroll. There are so many potential interactions that require secure data storage that you can’t remotely afford to be sharing space or using a free solution.

When you buy shared server space, you never know who your neighbor could be. You could be running a small restaurant or a shop in the midwest and be sharing server space with a spam site from Russia. If they get blacklisted, your whole server could get blacklisted, which is going to drag you down with them.

If they’re attacked by malware, that malware could jump the partition and impact your data. All of this means lost revenue, lost trust, and a major headache for you, an enterprising business owner.

4. Get Control Over Shared Resources

Across any workspace, there are going to be lots of printers, drives, routers, and even applications that are shared between staff. Servers can take control of print sharing duties and even allow you to use some older pieces of equipment. When you have a server on site or have your own server, you can make printing a breeze by managing jobs faster than you normally would over a network.

If you use a peer-to-peer network for sharing data, drive mapping is always a problem. Storage drives are assigned letters automatically when added but multiple clients can make things confusing.

A server allows you to have a broad and sprawling list of connected devices and help connect them to the server or to one another. Shared resources can be sent either to the server or peer to peer. With your own server, you get to centralize your management so that you don’t have limits to how many seats you have.

With your driver taking on the roles of the firewall, router, your NAS device or even backup storage, you can handle many major functions at once. Rather than putting pressure on your hardware, leave it to your server.

Check out this guide to unmetered dedicated servers to find out how much you could get from a remote server.

Know What Do Servers Do To Earn You Money

The question is no longer “what do servers do” so much as “how can they benefit my business”. The answer lies in your understanding of why it’s important to have your own dedicated server. Sharing is important except when it comes to the vital personal data that keeps your business running.

If you live in a region where there could be power outages, make sure you check out our guide to backup supplies and how they can save your business.