Is Your Server Ripping You Off?

By Dan Ballard, in , posted: 6-Jul-2009 15:25

In the 80’s if an organisation with multiple branches wanted computers available to their staff the only option available was to have dumb terminals linking to a server which ran the programs, stored data and did all the processing.  The main reason being is that to get any decent computing power out of computers at that time they had to be huge, sometimes taking up whole floors of buildings.  However there were other advantages to this type of setup, some of which include; data was centralized and backed up, the dumb terminals were setup so the end users could not wreck anything and there was economies of scale.

Then in the late 90’s PC’s (personal computers) begun getting more and more powerful with the XT, AT/286, 386, 486 etc.  Not only were they getting faster but PC’s begun getting more affordable and user friendly with the advent of Microsoft Windows.  Point and click made computers easy for any computer novice to be able to use a computer. 

Because computers got powerful and affordable enough so almost any program a business required could now be run on the PC.  Spreadsheets for Accountants, Word processors for writers, drawing programs for drafters etc almost any program for any purpose has been made.  It then made sense for medium to large sized organisations to have local servers, so they could manage, share and backup their data.  So the 90’s and 00’s became the two decades of the PC and local server.

The world has now become hugely interconnected with high speed connections available in every country of the world, admittedly New Zealand compared to the other OECD countries is a bit behind on this one, see my article Broadband In New Zealand.  However every day this is improving with faster connections available to businesses of the likes of ADSL2+, VDSL, high speed wireless and fiber connections.  This has opened the door to the next generation of services available to businesses SaaS (Software as a Service) or hosted solutions.

Hosted solutions is when a provider hosts the service that you require for you on their servers generally in a data center.  The next question you or any other business owner would ask themselves now is “Why on earth would I do that?”  Well the short answer is that it is easier, secure,
cheaper and is more flexible for you.  See article Local vs Hosed Servers to see the true cost of having a local server

Let me give you an example.  Hosted Terminal Services is a service where all your programs and files are available to you and your staff from any computer in the world with an internet connection.  It is a virtual desktop which you or your staff log into and it is hosted on servers in a secure data centre and it is a hassle free solution as you and your staff do not have to worry about backups, licensing, server maintenance, hardware failure or any of the problems or cost that come with having a local server. 

One of my clients is an Accountant in New Zealand and one of his staff members went to China to visit family, while she was away she was able to log into the hosted server and continue working from China.  Giving the staff member job satisfaction and giving the business owner added productivity.

The main point which always gets business owners attention is most of the time when all the costs are added up a hosted terminal services solution is cheaper and more flexible solution than having your own local server setup because of virtualization and economies of scale.

Dan Ballard

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Dan Ballard
New Zealand

CyberHub is a hosting company based in Auckland, we specialise in Hosting WordPress websites and VPS, Dedicated Servers and Domain Name Hosting.
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