In-house servers: Does my small business need these?

In-house servers: Does my small business need these?

Most, if not all, small- and medium-sized businesses today — including your own in Kansas City — utilizes computers for various processes every day. You’re probably using PCs or laptops to maintain accounting records, personnel files, and customer information. And if your company creates digital assets like computer-aided designs, then it produces even more data.

Regardless of the type of data you produce, you need to store it securely while also granting authorized users convenient access to it. As your business grows, you’ll accumulate more data. You’re also more likely to use more software programs — and every old and new app needs to be secured and made accessible to permitted users, too.

To accommodate your growing IT needs, you have two options: use the cloud or use an in-house server. In this post, we’ll take a look at why you might want to get an in-house server for your business.

First things first: What is a server?

A server is a type of computer that grants functionality to the programs or other devices that users directly use. This explanation is quite vague, so let’s use a restaurant analogy to illustrate this.

In a restaurant, diners place orders, and the kitchen fulfills these orders by cooking dishes. Now, imagine making a search query on Google. Your query is the “order” and Google’s servers are the “kitchen” that give you the “dish” in the form of search results.

Almost any regular PC can be configured to perform as a server, but there are machines specifically made to function as heavy-duty servers. These are built to run 24/7, have more RAM, and feature faster processors. Furthermore, purpose-built servers have a feature called redundant array of independent disks, or RAID. Unlike run-of-the-mill PCs that only have one drive for storing important data, servers have multiple drives. This means that if a drive breaks down, there are other drives that the server could fall back on. This helps you avoid costly downtime and data loss.

How does a business benefit from using an in-house server?

By having a server on premises, you exercise more control over it than you would if the server was operated by a cloud provider. This higher degree of control benefits your company in three ways:

1. You can make your data storage more secure.

The internet is fraught with cyberthreats like malware and man-in-the-middle attacks. Since the cloud can’t be accessed any other way but via the internet, using the cloud means exposing your data to these cybersecurity risks.

On the other hand, keeping a server that’s only accessible via your corporate intranet enables you to keep sensitive data away from the internet. It’s not surprising that some of the strictest data regulations require the use of in-house servers.

2. You can access your data and apps more quickly and cost-efficiently.

Unless you have a fast internet connection and your cloud provider allows gigabit throughput, storing and accessing extraordinarily large files in remote servers will take a long time. This is because data will have to travel long distances as opposed to just remaining on premises in an in-house server.

Additionally, having the cloud provider transmit large amounts of data is already costly, and gigabit throughput and extra-fast connections will only add to your expenses. In some cases, using an in-house server is more cost-efficient than using the cloud, so you’ll want to determine this for your own business via a cost-benefit analysis.

3. You don’t have to wait for a cloud provider to become available for you to receive technical support.

Big public cloud providers serve many clients, and you may have to wait in line until you get the technical support you need from them. By maintaining an in-house server, you can address issues as soon as they arise. This, plus the ability to quickly respond to changing business conditions, may make the costs of the server, its utilization and maintenance, and its power consumption all worth it.

To determine if using in-house servers is the best choice for your business, talk to our expert IT consultants at Complete Technology today.

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