Should I consider a server based network?
There are two types of networks: peer-to-peer and client-server. A peer-to-peer network consists of interconnected client computers, such as laptops or desktops. A client-server network is a centralized network one server acts as dedicated resource provider to a pool of client computers. These servers “serve up” 24×7 services to the client computers such as file, print, email, and backup. Servers also administrate networking settings and resources such as IP addresses, account logon credentials, security settings and workstation settings – all managed through one interface on the server and pushed out to the client computers.
- 24×7 Accessibility: With a peer-to-peer network, if a user needs to access a file residing on another computer, that computer needs to be powered on. This is not practical with client devices that are generally powered off when not in use. With a client-server network, the server is always-on, always available, so files and applications can be accessed at any time.
- Improved Collaboration: The server in a client-server network can act as a centralized hub for storing and sharing files. This configuration allows multiple users to access files and makes changes to a single centralized copy. This also helps minimize version control issues that often arise from managing multiple versions of the same file.
- Centralized, Client Backups: Servers can be configured to automatically backup client computers and also restore data based on those backup images, in the case of a client hard drive failure.
- Remote Access: Servers support remote access which enables employees, partners, and customers, to access data on the server without physically being in front of the system. Statip IP address is required.
- Enhanced Security: Servers can be configured to control access to the server’s data and other resources on a per-user basis. This ensures that only individuals with proper permissions access specific data and applications residing on the server.
- Better Client Performance: In a peer-to-peer network, clients also have to act as servers, “serving up” services to other clients on the network. This can negatively impact performance of those clients. This computational burden is lifted by having a high performance server dedicated to serving client workstations.
- Server Essentials 2012 directly integrates with Microsoft’s Azure Active Directory and Office 365 (hosted Exchange server) for Email, Calendar, Tasks and more through the Microsoft Outlook client. This service allows for anywhere access to email, contacts, tasks and calendars and enables task assignment, and calendar sharing throughout the organization.
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