So what ARE servers and do you really need to know about them?
The answer depends upon your need. Are you a home user or a business user? At home is there only you or are there many people and if only you, what are your needs? If you are a business user, how many employees do you have and what is the type of business you have?
There are many scenarios in which a business user NEEDS a real server and a few in which a home user does, too but the level of "server" capabilities you need also needs to be decided upon.
An example I can give you from personal experience is a small company in the mining industry who got me out to look at their needs. I could easily have told them that they needed to pay for an extra computer running Windows Small Business server but that would have been a large cost when, after consultation, I found out that all they really needed for the day to day office was network access to a MYOB file from more than one user at once, that they had only about 6 office staff and all they needed apart from that was a way to backup across the network in case of a computer failing. So, they did need an extra machine but to act only as a "file server" where the MYOB file being worked upon resided and an extra external drive where backups could be stored and could be taken home as needed. My way of working is from ground up. You don’t always NEED a full server. You only need to let me talk to you about it and assess the situation.
So what about "CLOUD" computing and servers? The basic idea behind "cloud computing" has been around for a very long time but has only taken off in recent years. It started with something like this: You have a small business and you run your accounting program, your other programs and such on your server with Windows Small Business Server or the full Windows Server and it costs you a lot to set up and constant maintenance. The costs can get high depending on who you have tending to the needs of your server, how good they are and what they charge. You can get around all this by going to "the cloud" and significantly reduce the outlay on machinery and software at your premises. These days it is a whole lot more and includes storage of photos, music and so on. Your personal photos that you took have already been taken ownership of by one company who will, if needed, take you to court for using your own photos just because you happened to think it's a good idea to store them on their server AND they are getting away with it. How soon before others do the same? What about your personal data? Given that the Federal Govts of every nation are looking to control metadata, what makes you think that the cloud servers of these companies dont fall under the same rulings? One interesting fact with cloud servers - do you own a smart phone? Whether Google Android, Apple phone or ipad, you name it, check your associated account with that phone. In order to download Google Android apps you need a Google Android account. In order to download Apple Apps, you need an Itunes account. When you check your account, check on photos. How many of those did you authorise your phone or pad to put there? Once there, who owns them now? If you for now, it doesnt necessarily have to be you in the future. As I said above, at least ONE company has taken your rights away from you in regards to your own photos should you use their server. Dont you need to worry about your company or private data? No? Who owns it today? What person or agency is looking at them right now?
Sounds great? Not to me! For every UP there has to be a DOWN. The down, for cloud computing is that your data is processed on someone else's computers over internet. Those computers are also able to break down and cause you lost data even though they have redundancy built in but worse than that, if, for any reason, your internet connection goes down then you can’t do your work. There is also the fact that your private data is stored on someone else's computers and you don’t know them from Adam. So, there is the possibility of data loss, the real problem of loss of connection and the worry of where your data has gone to, today and who is looking at it when using the cloud.
Does this all sound like I am being negative about the cloud to you? Sure it does but I am not running it down, I am presenting the facts. If you are a medical practice wanting to use the cloud, you should think twice about that. If you are a business with data as personal as that you should ALSO think twice about the cloud. If you are a small business with, say, 20 office employees and nothing so dire in your data as a medical practice would have then maybe you SHOULD be thinking about the cloud so long as you are sure your internet connection is as bulletproof as it can be.
So how should you make your decision what to do? Get PC Handyman Professionals in to talk to you about it, assess your needs and make a recommendation. It is as simple as that. Just fill in the CONTACT details to the left or phone on 0410-478-279.