The business environment has been transforming for the past few decades. The advent of computers and the internet has had massive impact on the way we do business. Companies that are not utilizing this new technology to the fullest are lagging behind their rivals and finding it difficult to remain competitive. This is true for companies belonging to all sectors. It is does not matter whether you are a big organization having hundreds of employees or a small firm of only ten; every big and small business has to start considering investing in various IT projects, such as network and server installation, or it will not be able to flourish.
What is a Server and Why is it so Important?
A server is basically a dedicated computer whose responsibility is to manage, process, store and send data over a network to the computers connected to it. A server is thus the manager of the network which assists the clients that are sharing the network with it. Servers play a very important part in securing the data being transferred over the network and in ensuring that the processing of this data is done in an efficient manner. Because of the versatility and innumerable number of advantages that it provides, implementing a server-client network in place of a peer-to-peer network has become a necessity for every large and small business organization.
However, small businesses can be reluctant in installing a server to manage their network because of its high initial cost and the requirement of a whole IT department to monitor it. Although their concerns are legitimate there is still need for them to consider implementing the server-client network for the following reasons.
Network and File Security
Network security is the biggest concern in peer-to-peer networking. There is no guarantee that the file being shared cannot be viewed unauthorized users. A server-client network can solve this problem by ensuring that the files being transferred over the network are accessible to only the relevant people and no unauthorized person can gain view them. The server can ensure this by allowing the creation of user accounts which grant access to the data only to those people who have been given the rights of the accounts. This way server-client network can make your network a lot stronger and none of your data can be stolen.
The reliability of the server-client network is very high as compared to the peer-to-peer network. The reason for this is that the servers typically make use of additional hard drives and power supplies which keeps them running even if one of the power supplies or hard drives have stopped working. Some of the servers even have hot swappable components as well. This means that the components of the server can be changed without having to stop it. A server-client network basically has the data of all the employees stored in the server which means that if an employee’s computer develops a fault during work, he can easily start working on another computer that is connected to the network and download the files from the server. This is a feature that is absent from peer-to-peer networks and gives server-client networks the upper hand in terms of reliability.
Centralization of Network Resources
In a server-client network, the server has possession of all the network resources. Since it is present in the center of the network, every computer on the network can get access to these resources from the server. For instance, the users would not have to leave their seats in order to use the printer or to use the fax machine. They would just have to connect to the server and start using the printer or fax machine that is being shared by the entire network. This centralization of network resources enhances efficiency. Thus, if you want to increase the efficiency of your day to day business affairs then it is best for you to start thinking about investing in a server for your business.
Management of Virus Threats
Viruses, spyware and malware pose a significant threat to the security of a business’s network. They can be very hard to deal with in a peer-to-peer setting simply because you would have to have antivirus software installed on all the computers connected to the network for ensuring security. On the other hand, in the case of the server-client network, the management of virus threats becomes a lot easier since a solid antivirus package installed on the server can ensure the security of the entire network and all the computers that are connected to it. Thus, if you want to save money on antivirus software then it is best for you to have a server-client network installed in your office, rather than a peer-to-peer network.
Backup is another area where having the server-client network can prove to be of great benefit to you. In this kind of network, the backup of the data can be made far more effectively. The reason for this is simple. Since the server has the data of all the computers on the network stored on it, creating a backup is far easier and would take much less time. However, if you are using a peer-to-peer network then you would have to create backups of the data stored on each computer separately which take a lot of time and is highly inefficient as well.
Thus, it is clear that having a server is the probably a great option for every business organization. It is going to provide you innumerable advantages and would give you a chance to compete in this technology driven world. However, it is important that the business technology you are investing in is the right one for your business and fulfils all of your requirements. There are a number of factors that you would have to consider before implementing a server-client network. These factors include storage provided by the server, the applications it offers and its processing speed.