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Selecting the Right Network Server

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on October 9, 2006

Selecting the right network server is a complicated decision that requires you to first know your business environment and your plan for growth. Here are some things to keep in mind before you make your purchase:

1. Determine what you really want to do with this server. You must determine what the technology needs are for your business and its staff.
2. Are you going to use it for Internet, Web site, security, e-mail, FTP (File Transfer Protocol), centralized file storage, or as a print server? There are servers built for small and midsize businesses that can handle many or all of these functions. As businesses grow, they may need dedicated servers that perform each function individually.
3. Do you require shared and secured Internet access? Do you require shared/secured file storage, and will your existing environment require special cabling or restructuring?
4. If you have employees that travel a lot (like sales people), you may need remote access or VPN (Virtual Private Network) abilities to help them obtain data in the office.
5. Based on existing or future equipment, considerations need to be made in your office to cable for a LAN (Local Area Network) or integrate a setup for a WLAN (Wireless Local Network).
6. You should make certain that your existing equipment can handle possible connectivity issues (i.e., Are your desktops up to standard from a hardware perspective, and is your desktop operating system up to date?). Consideration needs to be made with respect to your ISP/bandwidth requirements, and you must consider if you will be capable of running your own Web site or e-mail server.

Ozzy Papic
Net Integration Technologies
Markham, Ont., Canada

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