Your small office probably relies on more than one computer to get work done, for managing tasks across all of your company’s PCs, consider using a small business server, the main benefit of this central hub will be shared storage space and increased backup options, as your company’s need grow, however, you can use the server to design and test a web site, host intranet service and host your own internet presence.
Choosing a sever
The cheapest server have very low hardware requirement, a PC with a Pentium Pro CPU can handle an Ubuntu Linux based server. Windows Small Business Server 2008 is a step up from that, you might be able to run it on a recent, unused PC, or you could buy a new server with it preinstalled, Small Business Server 2008 is ideal for a staff of 24 or fewer people, with 25 or more employees, you’ll likely prefer Windows Essential Business Server 2008. Vendor of hardware and software server system usually help set them up, but you’ll probably need an on-site or consulting I.T pro to keep it running.
Windows Home Server is suite to sharing media and making simple network backups, but its limited scope leaves you no room to grow, Mac OS X Server handles network task and administration for cross-platform companies well, especially if your operation is primarily Mac based; it’s glossy Apple style walks you through most of its services, for PC centric organizations, a Windows Server offers more automation and setup for Windows Clients.
Ubuntu Linux Base Servers
If your already feel comfortable running a network, you may be ready for a simple server that uses ubuntu Linux, this free operation system comes in server and desktop versions, each of which can run the same application, the server version is preconfigured with networking tools, including Samba file sharing and OpenSSH, and its kernel it optimize for responsiveness to servers tasks.
Beginner may find its command line interface daunting, but enabling the ubuntu desktop graphical interface is easy, download the free ubuntu software burn it to a CD/DVD and run the installer, you need to understand a lot of networking basic, the concepts behind manual IP address, router hardware and file sharing permission, hard-drive installation, RAM upgrading and other hardware basics, before you begin, you should be able to configure out ubuntu and configure the pc as you go along.
If not, you may be better off buying for pay, preinstalled server and the tech support that usually accompanies it, unlike other server, ubuntu gives you complete control over the server, you also get a deep level of customization, including a library of Linux applications, in contrast, Windows Small Business Server can’t function beyond Microsoft’s options without the assistance of special plug-ins, those add-ons might meet your business’s needs but the resulting setup lacks the openness of Linux.
Windows Small Business Server 2008
Windows Small Business Server 2008 is a new, entry-level business server designed for companies consisting of no more than 75 employees and no on-site I.T staff, the server’s wizard-heavy system asks plain-language questions about your needs and adjusts configuration based on your answer, think of Small Business Server as preconfigured Windows Server installation, it includes nearly all of the same features, but your manage everything from a single console instead of installing packages, I found it installation process easier than ubuntu’s, but you still need same basic networking know how to make everything come together.
Like other Microsoft product, Small Business Server comes in a confusing multitude of editions, the Standard Edition should amply cover most small business needs, and it includes Exchange Server for calendar and email, if you manage your own email and web service, however, I recommend growing into hosting them, without I.T staff, I’d much rather pay another company for hosting, that said Small Business Server connects to registrar to help you along if you have the dedicated bandwidth and the I.T expertise.
The premium edition include a second windows server license for installation on another PC or virtual machine, plus Microsoft SQL Server, an SQL server can help run network based apps and may be useful for developing and testing web site and other connected services, but again, your web host likely provider SQL Services, too, Small Business Server follows the per-license pricing structure of other for pay servers OSs, the base packages include five licenses to be divided per user or per PC, additional per-user license cost $77 for standard edition and $189 for premium edition, the cost cover license for all of the server product included in the respective edition, be sure to factor extra cost into your decision.