A new tech landscape is taking shape for small businesses. There's a need for access to computing almost anywhere, on many different kinds of devices such as desktops, laptops and smartphones. Many devices means there are many opportunities to get disorganized. One way to keep momentum and organization is to consider purchasing a server. Realistically, any business with more than two employees should consider using a server. This not only helps prepare for growth, but also enables smoother business operations from the outset. Servers play a critical role in any IT network and perform a number of essential tasks.

Servers should have a big impact on your operations. Businesses face a range of IT challenges. You need your IT to be reliable and flexible — to support your business through changing times. Carefully managing your power and cooling requirements, and simplified data center management can reduce administration costs. You need servers to help you meet all of these challenges.

Here are the top four reasons small businesses introduce a dedicated server:

  • System-wide backups and administration
  • Central file repository and sharing documents
  • Print and mail serving
  • Hosting databases

Source: Dell and Intel's research report Manage Your Changing IT Needs: A European Report on Servers & Storage for Small Business (February 2012)

For most small businesses, a tower server will suffice as a starting point. They are the most common. An entry-level tower server will typically be used to provide employees with things such as email and networked file and print sharing.
Though they look like desktop computers, tower servers don't usually require their own "server room" on-site, which is especially good because space is a precious commodity.

Tower servers also provide a cost-effective server solution, starting at the same price as a typical desktop computer. Should strong business growth drive a need for additional resources, they can be easily installed and converted to rack-mount servers with an appropriate conversion kit.

Rack servers provide an alternative for businesses that need to run more demanding applications. At the top end of the scale, blade servers are usually the most expensive and powerful systems available. They offer the greatest level of flexibility and functionality but are unlikely to be right for most small businesses.

The Future

Stress on your computing infrastructure is a blessing in disguise. That means your business is growing. The best way to get ahead of that growth — buy a server.
When deciding on what server to implement for the first time, it is also important to consider future infrastructure upgrades. Rapid growth in business may require a more sophisticated server solution, and of course, it needs to be cost-effective and compatible with storage offerings from other vendors.