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Do I replace my server or go to the cloud?

With the retirement of Windows server 2003 this year, I have a lot of clients looking at their technology replacement options. Here’s a couple for you to think about.

Replace the server option

While it would be nice to have a server that lasts for ever the truth to the matter is a server has lots of moving parts (spinning hard drives & fans). Moving parts fail. It’s not a matter of “IF” they’ll fail, but rather “WHEN” they will fail. A server’s life depends on its workload and how well you maintain it. So, buying a new server to replace what you have is a good idea, but only if it makes sense to your budget. For an average small business with less than 50 employees you’re going to spend around $5000 for a new server. Then you’re looking at another 20-30 hours setting up the new server and migrating the data over.

When replacing a server with a new server you should be thinking about future expansion of the server as your small company grows. Items to think about include adding more RAM or Hard Drive Space. You can keep your up front costs lower by purchasing an upgradeable server. There’s no sense in spending money on MAXing out your hard drive space on your server when you may never fill it.

Move to the cloud

Replacing your old server and moving to the cloud is truly the wave of the future. Actually, the wave has been here for quite some time. Retiring your old email server and moving to a product such as Google Apps or Microsoft Office 365 take a lot of pressure off your IT person. These companies handle the SPAM and mail retention. Your IT person has to set the accounts up and make sure you know how to get connected to these services.

You might even think that you may not be able to replace your server because you have an antiquated database thats running in it. Most companies out there that are running server/client databases (think: financial, specialized) have updated versions or even cloud based versions. The updated version may even bring in some new bells and whistles that your older version didn’t have. It will most likely be faster too. The cloud based versions are great because you can access your database info regardless of location. You could be sitting on a beach checking in on your patient database. Just as long as you have an internet connection.

If you’re looking to upgrade your server or move your old environment to the cloud; please give Acts Technology a call. We do this stuff all the time. We can sit down with you and work with you and budgets of all sizes.

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