The server is the “heart” of every business. It runs all your applications and stores your critical data. It is key to ensuring your business gets the productivity benefits you expect from your investment in technology.
No server – no business
If your server crashes or goes down due to power failures – or worse, if it is stolen, hacked or destroyed by fire, flood or even by a malicious virus, what will happen to your business’s productivity?
But even slow, overloaded servers also have a detrimental effect on your business.
The problem is, servers are expensive. And if the strain on your server generally only lasts a few days every month, for example at month-end, when it has to deal with a large number of transactions – how can you justify the cost of a larger, more powerful server?
A server in the Cloud
Fortunately, there are several affordable and practical alternatives to these problems, thanks to the advances that have been made in the Cloud computing environment and the availability of affordable, uncapped broadband connectivity.
In order to reduce the risk associated with servers, more and more businesses are opting to have their servers hosted in sophisticated data centres that are operated by dedicated Internet service providers. Effectively, you ‘rent’ the server you require from the service provider.
An additional advantage is that the server is hosted in an environment that features a level of physical security few businesses can match.
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A hosted solution – virtually foolproof
It’s also possible to rent server capacity – as opposed to the server itself – on demand. We call this Virtual Hosting. A virtual hosted service is ideal for businesses that have high processing and capacity demands for just a few days every month, or for the duration of a specific marketing campaign, or even for testing new applications.
Virtual Server Hosting works by partitioning several large physical servers (hosted at the provider’s Data Centre) into multiple virtual servers. Each generally has its own operating software and should be able to be rebooted independently. Another key benefit of a hosted virtual server is that it can usually be implemented extremely quickly as there is no physical hardware requirement.
However, before signing on the dotted line for your hosted server service, check that:
- The data centre where your server is to be hosted is physically secure and includes sophisticated security and fire protection systems
- It should also have back-up generators and uninterrupted power supplies to ensure that any power failures do not result in downtime.
- In addition, it should have experienced engineers onsite to maintain the centre 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.