Many small business owners struggle with the server question. Do we need one or not? To answer that, let's look at what a file server does and some of the features.
What Does A File Server Do?
A file server, as the name implies, serves up files. In a small business, a file server may simply be another workstation that is used to store your business files. A folder is created on the server to hold the files and that folder is shared so that the other computers in the office can access the files.
File servers provide a central location to store all of your business files so that multiple users can easily work with the same documents, spreadsheets and other data. This centralized storage also allows a business to backup just one computer to be sure their data is safe.
As a business grows larger and more control over file security is needed, a computer running a Windows Server operating system rather than Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8 is required. A Windows Server allows the business to control which users can access specific files. This means you can have accounting users that can edit QuickBooks and sales users that can see marketing documents, but not any accounting information.
File servers are also configured with redundant hard drives that allow the server to continue running even if a hard drive crashes to avoid down time. Some even have redundant power supplies.
Does My Business Need A File Server?
If your business has one computer then, you do not need a file server. If you have between two and five computers, then yes, but you could likely get away with configuring an existing computer to double as a file server. If you have more than five computers, then it is time to start planning for a corporate-like file server running a Windows Server operating system.
If you have questions about file servers or any other computer related issue, call Preactive IT Solutions.