Server for a small business

Setting up a dedicated on-premises setup server for small business owner can take time and effort. As a business grows, adding a server becomes more important to store files safely, run applications, and more. Server installation can seem even more challenging for businesses that need their own IT department. Still, if you follow a few simple steps, your server will be set up correctly and ready to serve your business quickly.

How can your company use the power of a server? What does it take to hire one for your own business? Learning to set up a business server is an important first step before making big purchases.

What is a server?

A server is a physical device or a computer program that gives other computers on the same network access to information, programs, services, or storage space. “Clients” are the other computers on the network, and the server’s job is to take some of the load off of these clients.
Servers help you decide how to use your resources and may make sharing and storing data on multiple computers safer. They might be called something like “file servers for small businesses” if their only purpose is to serve files to clients.

Servers can be used to host and serve many business tasks, such as:

  • Data storage and backup
  • Databases
  • E-commerce
  • Email
  • Files
  • Websites
  • Business Apps

Many servers in small offices are called “dedicated servers” because they only do one thing. For example, your email server is there to get, store, and send email data. Another example is an e-commerce server that hosts and serves your business’s online store.

Server options for small businesses

Servers have different functions and also belong to different types or categories. By learning about these choices, you can decide which one you like best before picking one and making a purchase.

Cloud Solution vs. Onsite Server

Many of us already use cloud-based servers to do what we do as consumers. When talking about data storage solutions and setup server for small businesses, the idea is the same.

By putting your work files on Google Drive, for example, you can take advantage of Google’s powerful cloud servers. And if you choose to store these duplicate files on a physical server at your location, you would use an “onsite” server.

Note that all cloud services are just the same kind of physical servers that you would use in your own business. The clouds might be more significant or robust, but nothing magical about them. It’s just saying that the server doing all the work isn’t at your business and that the maintenance is done by someone else.
Should your small business use a server or the cloud? You can choose a hybrid option if you want the best of both worlds.

Windows & Linux

In the same way, you choose an operating system for your computer, and you need to select an operating system and setup server for a small business shared server. If you’re used to Windows technology, it has benefits, but Linux has its advantages. Check out the pros and cons of each to decide which is best for you and your IT team.
Choose a small business server configuration based on the people you can find to keep everything running smoothly. Even though Windows and Linux are the most well-known technologies, there are others.

Step-By-Step Guide to Setting up a Server

Let’s look at each of the above steps to set up your server in more detail.
Selecting the Server Hardware Servers can do many different things, but they work best when they only do one or a few specific things. What kind of hardware and features your server needs will depend on what tasks it will do. Most of the time, servers are used for the following in a business setting:

  • File Server
  • Web Server
  • Database Server
  • Mail Server
  • Domain Server, and
  • Application Server

Web servers work better with a lot of RAM and backup hardware.
File servers should have as many hot-swappable drive bays as possible.
Each server has its hardware and features, which determine what it can do. So, when picking a server, you should pay special attention to the CPU size, hard disc storage, and RAM based on what the server will be used for.
Selecting the Server Operating System Servers need unique operating systems that are more reliable and handle many users at once. The following OS are commonly found on servers:

  • Windows Server Essentials
  • Linux Ubuntu Server
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux
  • CentOS

Choosing the right operating system for your server is a big decision that directly affects how much it costs and, more importantly, how well it works. Before picking a server operating system.

Here are the most important things to think about:
  1. Reliable Support – Linux is an open-source operating system, so if there is a problem with your server, you will probably have to spend a lot of time researching online. But Microsoft offers high-quality customer support through many channels. Support needs are often a critical factor in choosing an operating system. Most small businesses can’t afford a dedicated IT staff for their Linux server, so Windows Server is often the operating system of choice.
  2. User-friendliness – When choosing a server operating system, it is imperative to consider how easy it is to install, set up, and use. This is very important for small and medium-sized businesses, which may have part-time IT staff.
    People who already use Windows tend to like Windows server operating systems because they look and feel like the Windows operating system for PCs. On the other hand, Linux operating systems have a steep learning curve and must installed, run, and maintained by a Linux expert.
  3. Customization – If you know how to use Linux and have the technical skills, it is relatively flexible and gives you more ways to customize it than the Windows operating system.
  4. Cost – Linux costs less than Windows server operating systems because it is free to use. But you also need to consider the total cost of IT operations, including the time and technical know-how required to run and maintain the server.

Server Configuration

You need to install the operating system on your server before you can start setting it up. This process resembles installing software on your PCs or Macs from a DVD, USB, or virtual media. In some cases, the operating system may already be on the server. In this case, you can start setting things up right away.

After installing the operating system, office servers are usually set up in the following ways:
Set a secure password for the server’s administrator.
Set up your network. Usually, the default network settings are enough.
Set local admin accounts on each computer and link them to the server.
Setup server as a domain controller so that all of the computers on your network can join the new centralized environment, and the server can check user credentials.
Setup server options for remote access and sharing.
Set the backup server. Follow the organization’s plan for backing up data.
Set up the firewall to stop people from getting into the server.

The above steps will change depending on how the server works. The stages will also be different in terms of how hard they are, depending on whether it will be a web server, database server, printer server, etc.

Putting in place security for servers

Your server is most likely the most important equipment in your office. They are at the center of everything a business does, from providing services to clients to exchanging data to managing databases and many other things. Servers are a popular target for hackers because they are essential to an organization’s daily operations.
There are many ways to attack a server. Web and mail servers directly connected to the Internet, so malware can try to attack them. Even if your server doesn’t relate directly to the Internet, like in the case of database servers, it can still attacked by your internal network. Some common ways to attack are:

  • Scam emails
  • Unlocked open ports
  • Attacks from a car
  • Trojans
  • DDoS Defense

Here are some ways you can make sure your servers are safe:

  • Set up both physical and virtual access controls to limit who can use the server.
  • Install antivirus and anti-malware software and keep it updated,
  • Install and take care of a firewall,
  • Setup server to find and stop intruders,
  • Encrypt your data,

Back up important information often,

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