Why does my business need a server?

Numerous small businesses around the globe have issues with their IT systems that often go ignored. This is often because they are unaware of the small business products that are available, or they are just unaware of the disorganization and chaos that is occurring on their networks.

It may not happen often, but eventually disasters do occur. Often this chaos and/or issues compound or get to a point where failure occurs and information is lost. Important company e-mails, quotes, contact information, accounting databases, and even legal documents; the list goes on and on… Ultimately wasting time and money.

I’m always shocked to find how many companies with 1-50 computers are using a desktop computer running Windows XP and call it a server. Or have no server, and numerous computers with file sharing configured as a means to share or backup important documents. But guess what, these so called “servers” have the same failure ratings as desktop computers or even have higher failure ratings since sometimes no one is actually physically using these “servers” and no one notices potential failures.

Let’s move on to what a server is and why you may need one:

A server is a collection of hardware and software that makes services available to clients (being computers and/or users). A workstation is simply a computer or terminal where a user actually performs tasks or works. All important, and/or business relevant information should always be stored at a central location that was designed to store, manage, and reliably backup this information, a server!

Servers utilize special technologies that make certain aspects of their function redundant. So let’s start with ripping apart a generic server and its features.


One of the important features of a server is the capability to perform self monitoring and making the information available remotely. Self monitoring watches the health and status of most hardware and software components of the server. When any of the systems and/or features below fails or has a warning, the system is aware and can even notify IT Staff, Service Providers, or a contact(s) inside of the company. Even if the server is frozen, numerous remote management tasks can be completed using these self-monitoring and remote management technologies. This is ultimately the best pro-active approach at having an IT setup that is available when you need it!

Server Operating Systems

The operating system you choose to run on your server can unlock the door to a whole new world of features, functions, and capabilities that you never knew were possible on your computer network. I am going to keep this section pretty empty, but keep an eye on the blog for further posts. In particular keep an eye out for blogs relating to “Microsoft Windows Small Business Server”, the perfect software solution for small businesses.

Redundant Hard Drives

Most servers have redundant drives. This means that if a hard drive fails inside of the server, no information is lost, and the server continues to provide data and information to the network with absolutely no disruption whatsoever. Self monitoring would then identify that a drive had failed, and notify the applicable person. A replacement could be order and in most cases the failed drive can be replaced while the server is on (further extending no discontinuation in service), therefore restoring the safe level of failure back to fully redundancy.

Redundant Power Supplies

Just like the redundant hard drives mentioned above, you can also purchase servers with redundant power supplies. Redundant power supplies offer a few benefits. First having multiple power supplies helps you load balance the power going into the server. This puts smaller loads on each power supply, therefore lowering the chance of failure. In addition to this if a power supply ever fails the server would continue to run with NO discontinuation of service. And you guessed it, a notification would be sent off to the person assigned notifying them that a power supply has failed. Once a new power supply is available the failed power supply can be replaced while the server is running.

Increased performance

Since servers are traditionally used to “process” and store information, they are usually manufactured with higher end hardware meaning higher quality and more performance. This means that with some applications when installed properly, you can actually offset processing power to the server therefore reducing the cost for expensive workstations. With this being the result, less money is spent on workstations since they don’t require high processing capabilities. In addition to offloading tasks, users of the workstations on your network will have a more pleasant experience working which will result in more work getting done and less screaming at the computer (which we all know will ALWAYS happen no matter how perfect your IT setup is).

Information Storage

Since you will be using the server for everything from basic file storage to your business line applications, you can focus your backup point and disaster recovery plan towards backing up one central system instead of numerous systems. Since your staff will all be accessing their information from one central point, you can strictly focus on ensuring that the design of the backup system is adequate for this one point, and only have to worry about monitoring one central point (which in most cases can be configured to integrate with the self-monitoring). This means that when a workstation fails in the office no information will be lost. Also if the server fails, you only have to worry about restoring that one point of failure instead of multiple. If you know your backup is working then you know you’re information will be safe.

Additional Software

By purchasing a server with additional business products, you can create a rich environment for your users which will help minimize IT service costs, provide your employees with the information when they require it, and ultimately help your business expand when the time comes.


You can see that servers have a lot of redundant features along with other technologies that make them a key player on your network. One thing that most people don’t know is they are VERY affordable. Achieving this level of redundancy will NOT cost you an arm and a leg, but will help you save time and money on lost wages and downtime; in the end it will help you make more of a return on your whole IT Systems investment.

If you want more information on what a server can provide your business, please feel free to contact us!

Stephen Wagner


Digitally Accurate Inc.

(403) 668-0862


Occupation: President of Digitally Accurate Inc.
Bio: 13 Year IT Service and Solution Provider, Managed Services Provider, Tech Blogger, Entrepreneur

Full biography available here.
Personal Technology Blog: https://www.stephenwagner.com

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1 Comment on “Why does my business need a server?

  1. I’ve actually been playing with Microsoft System Center Operations Manager lately.

    Looks promising, but the configuration of certificates for non-trusted domain gateways is a PAIN to deal with, lol.

    Once you get it running though it’s pretty slick!

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