What exactly is a server and what can it do for me and my business?

To put it simply a server is just a computer without somebody working behind it at a monitor.


server is a computer device or program that accepts and responds to requests made by the client (A pc or workstation on the network). They are designed to process requests and deliver data to other computers using the internet or a local network.

There are several types of servers, such as web servers, mail servers, cloud or file servers that store data for example, or a DHCP server that assigns IP addresses.


A server is engineered to manage, store, send and process data, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year meaning if a user's workstation fails, that employee can go to another workstation to continue working on the same files without having to wait for repairs on the workstation to be done.


Servers need to be far more reliable than a desktop pc. To accomplish this, servers offer a variety of features not typically found in a desktop PC such as;

  • Dual processors
  • Enterprise hard drives or high performance power supplies
  • Hot swappable components
  • Are scalable; to meet current, as well as future needs
  • Can process data more efficiently at a faster speed

There are multiple reasons to have a server. We have listed a few below;


File and Network security — The most important role of a server is the network security it provides. By creating individual user and group accounts, rights can be assigned preventing unauthorised users from accessing materials they shouldn't be viewing. For example, order pickers in your warehouse don't need access to personnel files or accounts data. That information can be reserved for human resources, accounts staff or company directors.


Increased reliability — Servers are built for reliability and are always designed to run, even in the event of a hardware failure.  A normal desktop PC is not designed to run all the time. The components are not always top of the line, so they might end up giving up the ghost if the PC is left on 24/7. There’s no redundancy built in either, which means that if something goes wrong, you just might end up losing everything. When any hardware fails in a desktop PC or workstation you need to shut the system down to repair it. This isn't the case for a server as most are equipped with hot swappable components which allow you to replace faulty hardware without interrupting the entire company.


Virus Management — One of the greatest threats to your network is the possibility of infection from viruses, spyware and spam. In a small office, systems can be maintained individually. A larger office and more PC’s become time consuming so the option to install Virus management software on one single server to cover all your desktop PC’s becomes a huge advantage.


Centralised Backup — All businesses should backup their data on a regular basis. By having all your company data stored on your server in one location, backups can be performed reliably and quickly. Your company will see a massive difference in time saved and efficiency measures, since all your data is accessible in the same way for all employees to access and use on a day to day basis.


Choosing the right server for your business

  • Ask yourself questions before you purchase
  • Do you have a dedicated secure space in your office to accommodate a server?
  • Depending on space and number of employees, do you need a rack, blade or tower server?
  • Do you want control of the hardware or are you happy to have a cloud server?
  • Will you use a server for file sharing?
  • Will your server be predominantly used for email?
  • Does your workforce need to connect to the server remotely?
  • Is your server going to be used for data backup?
  • Do you need the server to be scalable?

Ultimately regardless of your business’ size, be it a team as small as three or four or a 100 hundred people working from 5 different offices, the right technology can make your business more efficient. Invest in a server and make your business safer, more efficient and ultimately more productive.