Should I add a server

First let me say I am unfamiliar with servers. I know what they are and the general aspeect of what they do but beyond that I'm pretty much lost.

We will be expanding our small office to include 1-2 more computers. We currently have 2 computers and a printer networked with the occaisonal wireless laptop connection. I was recently looking at a new Dell and they recommend adding a server for networks housing more than 2 computers. So the question is to server or not to server? Thanks.
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  1. I have 4 desktops, 2 laptops, and a ps3, and have no need for servers, but it really depends on what kind of business you run. For the average person in your situation, I wouldn't think you would need one. If you needed to house files that each computer was constantly accessing, it might be useful.
  2. Unless you use shared program licenses, I really don't see the need for a server. However a "file server" is another server and an NAS is the best solution for small offices. The NV+ has been serving my office well for about 3 years.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2%2050001233%2040000124&Manufactory=1233&bop=And&SpeTabStoreType=1&ActiveSearchResult=True&SrchInDesc=NV%2B&Page=1
  3. A "REAL" server not needed for such a small setup, a NAS will do the job or if you have an old PC lying baout doing nothing, set this up as a print and file server, just make sure you backup.
  4. Thanks I think a NAS sounds like a good solution for us.
  5. A NAS will essentially do everything that a standard file server does. Unless you want to centralize some software (have an in-house e-mail server, host a database, run a company-wide indexing service, etc.) then there's probably no need for one.

    Remember that a server is another computer to administer, and since it will normally have quite a different configuration than your desktops it could mean a bigger administration workload.

    Whichever way you go, just make sure that you have your backups covered - and that includes testing the ability to restore. For a business that's the single most critical thing you need, and it's easy to get wrong. Remember that good backup policy means you have at least two OFFLINE copies of important data, at least one of which is stored OFFSITE.
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