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Networking & Wireless forum


To server or not to server?

by awh0404 / October 10, 2011 9:48 PM PDT

Due to the recession our
company has gone from employing 20 people down to just 5 now. We are in
the process of moving to smaller premises and therefore as part of this move we
are looking at our IT set up.
We currently have a managed service provided by an
outside organisation which is basically a server box with a couple of hard
drives in a raid configuration. It is a Linux based system and the company look
after the updates/upgrades/security etc.
Software is on each user's machine on volume licensing,
along with desktop security.
We are considering moving to a more
"cloud" based/hosted option as well as potentially moving over to
Apple laptops, using Office 365 as opposed to desktop copies, and subscribing
to a hosted storage provider to store our files that are currently stored on
the server hard drives.
We provide research and consultancy services so
there is no real requirement for specialist software or specialist needs aside
from access email/files when out of the office.
We also currently have a couple of networked
(wired) printers that we use too.
I guess my question is, are we able to do this and
do we really need a physical server in the office or can we just plug in a
wireless router, and use the online services to do the job? Is there a requirement
for a special router or is a standard wireless router ok to sort out 5 machines
accessing the internet/downloading email etc. at once?

In terms of data security would we best to have some form of
physical drive in the office that also stores a copy of the data - is this do
able in terms of keeping all the data up to date - cloud and physical? For
example someone mentioned Time Capsule - is this something that would work in a
business environment?

We also want to try and just have a wireless network rather
than a full on wired one (to keep costs down) is the best way to do this just
to plug a wireless router into the broadband plug and drop the two printers off
the back of this router through the wired ports?

Is there anything else that we need to consider - e.g.
security issues surrounding the wireless network? Or any other options that may
provide a better solution?

Thanks in advance for any advice!

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All Answers

Collapse -
Sounds like you want that POGOPLUG drive?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 11, 2011 12:36 AM PDT

As to the printers you will learn that either you get network (ethernet) printers or ones with wifi. USB connected to the router are irksome for most.

And about the Apple. Apple has their cloud. But remember that any sane business would have local copies for when the country turns off the internet.

Collapse -
remote servers
by bill012 / October 11, 2011 1:59 AM PDT

It pretty much depends what exactly you are doing if it will run well using these cloud networks.

The stuff that works poorly send lots of small messages back and forth, database are one of the more common offenders but even things like compilers will have issues. A compiler may open thousands of small files when it is including common libraries. Even if each files only take 10ms to load it does not take long to adding minutes and even more if you are dealing with more common delays like 40-100ms.

Stuff that works ok generally involves coping the file to your pc memory working on it and then storing it back. It will take some getting used to since users will notice the longer open times reading data from a remote server. It is "acceptable" performance when compared to the cost of a local machine.

Generally the "fix" for anything that does not run well remotely is to move the application itself to the remote location where the data is. This is done with citrix like applications. Pretty much you convert your desktop PC into a remote monitor and keyboard all the programs are installed on the remote server. Back to mainframe days with dumb terminals.

I suspect if you must pay someone to run your local server you will find it cheaper to move to a remote server. The question that is hard to evaluate is, does the cost saving offset the loss of performance of a local server. This is very subjective since its hard to say how much "slowness" it takes to affect a users productivity.

Collapse -
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 13, 2011 7:04 AM PDT
In reply to: remote servers

Our programming staff will not allow clouds except for non-critical, non-business use.

I can only guess you have not been rained on.

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