A network server is a powerful computer connected to your business network.
Network servers have many functions and can form an important part of your computer network.
They are usually used for shared file storage and to run centralized applications, such as your customer database.
Many of the functions traditionally performed by servers can now be carried out through cloud computing instead. However, the cloud has not eclipsed servers and the two technologies are often best-used together.
Do you need an office server?
If your business is faced with issues in any of these areas, it may be appropriate for you to start using a server:
- Sharing information. Your network server can run centralized software (like your customer database) or be used to create a company intranet (a kind of private website just for your business).
- Storing files centrally. Instead of saving files on individual computers, you can store them securely on your office server.
- Controlling user access. A network server makes it easy for you to give different people access to different files, programs or data.
- Keeping software updated. With a server, it's easier to roll out new software or make changes to all computers on your company network.
- Managing security risks. It’s easy to back files up to a central location. And by routing internet access via the server, you can block suspect websites.
If your business has more than ten computers, the benefits of a server may well outweigh the costs. Smaller companies can see a good return on their investment too, but the benefits may be less immediate.