Are Small Office Servers Necessary?

First, a little history: The term server was first coined back in 1953 by D. G. Kendall in his formulation of queuing theory It was first applied in computing in 1969 with reference to ARPANET, the first packet switching IP network developed by the department of defense for communication between military installations. The technical use of the term means a use of a type of process that turns an Operating System such as Microsoft TM Windows into a “server” that makes files and other services available to “users”. The concept is also known as the client–server model in which clients request services and content from a central server. Small office servers became popular in the mid 1990s when Novell TM Server software was the dominant software for file share clients.

With the advent of Windows NT in the late 1990s Windows Server software became more prominent. Many of the services that the MS Windows Server Platform provided, such as SQL server were useful for proprietary industry specific applications written for the Windows Server. Having the actual “Server” software is less important these days, because OS software platforms from Windows NT up through Windows 7 and 10 Professional workstation software can be configured to share files and act as a server on a peer-to-peer network with fewer than 25 users. There are many business applications written for the Windows Professional workstation with built-in services that make them self contained and not reliant on the services, as they were on the Windows Server. The versatility of the Windows 7 OS and the cloud ready capabilities of Windows 10 Professional, along with cloud file storage and online services have made the traditional file server unnecessary in many small business offices today, but the concept of a designated “server” providing file and sharing access over a Local Area Network is still alive and well. If your wondering if your office needs a server, and need a mobile, onsite computer repair consultant to do it, SBC can help you decide.

 

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Computer Updates: To Update or not?

That is the question that perplexes many small business people these days. When your computer updates itself or keeps telling you “updates are available”, you might wonder what’s going on. With all the security and privacy problems so prevalent in on today’s web, its advisable to update on a regular basis, but it’s best to apply them selectively. New operating systems like Windows 10 and OS X, you no longer have a choice in the matter. Updates are applied behind the scenes, and that often causes real issues for OS settings, continuity, and sometimes basic functions. At SBC, its recommended that updates be applied regularly, but with discretion.

Updates were more user-Friendly

Older OS platforms like Windows 7, which is still a stable option for many business offices, give you a few different choices for applying updates. This means fewer surprises and more productivity. So what do we do to manage updates in newer operating system like Windows 10? You can control the scheduling of updates in PC Settings so that they don’t happen during your busy workday. Also, you can ask your IT person to regulate them on the back end, using something called Group Policy Editor. In this case either, the business owner, manager or IT person will have to make sure they apply updates on a regular basis (i.e. a long weekend or holiday ). Computer updates are a two-edged sword in today’s security conscious computing environment, but applying them wisely, selectively, and regularly is the challenge we all continue to face. It can make a difference for the efficiency and productivity in many small businesses.

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