Does my small business need an in-house server?

Does my small business need an in-house server?

As your small business in Toronto grows, it will inevitably produce more data. That data may comprise the actual value you produce. For example, if you own a professional photography business, that data could be in the form of image files. Data can also be what your company produces and collects during operations, such as customer information and accounting ledgers. Whichever type it is, company data needs to be securely stored and accessed by authorized users.

Additionally, your company may need to use more software applications. These applications also need to be securely kept and made accessible to authorized users. When your IT needs grow, that’s when you will want to consider getting an in-house server.

What is a server?

A server is any type of computer that provides functionality to other devices or programs. While a regular PC may be configured to function as a server, there are machines that are better built to fulfill this function. That is, a server would normally have a faster processor and more RAM, and is designed to run 24/7.

What are the benefits of using an in-house server?

Generally, the reason for having a server on-premises is to exercise greater control over it. With an in-house server, you can:

Store data securely
Because the cloud is accessed over the internet, it can be vulnerable to a variety of threats that put users at risk of a data breach.

Having a server that can only be accessed via the company’s intranet allows a company to keep its most sensitive data away from the internet. In fact, this is why some data regulations require companies to use in-house servers with domain controllers. Not only do these keep data safe, but they also enable you to implement security measures such as access policies, audit trails, and endpoint encryption.

Additionally, unlike regular PCs, a purpose-built server has what is known as RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) that protects it from drive failure. That is, if you rely solely on a one-drive PC to store your important files, you may risk significant downtime and/or high data recovery costs if that single drive breaks down.

Access your data easily and cost-efficiently
Some types of files, such as raw digital photos, videos, and computer-aided design renderings, are very large. Storing these remotely (i.e., in the cloud) may necessitate very fast internet connections as well as a data center that has gigabit throughput for delivering huge amounts of data as quickly as possible. Without both of these, retrieving and uploading such files to the cloud will likely take considerably longer than if the files were kept on in-house servers.

Furthermore, depending on the nature of the service level agreement with the cloud provider, it may very well be more time-efficient to maintain servers on-premise. This is because it can become challenging to get the attention and timely support you need from the giant public cloud providers. Some servers with sufficient capacity have become more affordable for outright purchase or can be rented from Hardware-as-a-Service providers, providing a cost-effective alternative. While you have to also figure in hardware maintenance costs, IT personnel salaries, and power costs, your organization may become more agile if you host your own servers, allowing you to respond as soon as business conditions change.

However, if you’re not careful, setting up and managing in-house servers may take you away from fulfilling your actual business mission. You need to come up with an IT strategy that factors in how your business operates and what your goals are currently and in the long term.

To help you determine the best course of action for your growing business, turn to XBASE, Toronto’s most trusted IT experts. Let our Exponentially Better™ professional services set you on the right path for business growth and success. Contact us today to learn more.