Small Business Servers – A Need For Change

Many small businesses don’t have an IT department or anyone experienced enough to handle even basic IT tasks like backup, system restoration, patching or updates. In most cases, they rely on a local business partner (typically an IT consultant or local IT support company) to handle these tasks.

Unfortunately, many small business IT solutions on the market today exacerbate the situation. Their complexity…

requires the need for ever more powerful hardware

results in frequent system crashes and downtime for upgrades

compounds security problems

start a new business necessitates frequent system restorations

increases the investment in resource to upgrade systems and fix problems

What’s needed is a new generation of ‘small business servers’ that deliver all of the essential IT & technology services for small businesses but without the usual costs or hassle.

Challenges in supporting micro and small business customers

To stay in business small businesses need help with basic IT chores, which are becoming more mission critical than ever as they grow more time consuming to deliver.

Start a new business – Just look at business continuity and disaster recovery in small businesses

A study by Gartner found that only one third of small businesses surveyed said they were prepared for a disaster within the next 12 months.

In other words two thirds of all small businesses are not prepared for a disaster or protected. The reason, in most cases, is that small businesses don’t have the IT skills of solutions to perform common tasks like backing up critical data or developing a way to restore systems that crash or become damaged when a pipe breaks or there is a fire, flood or other disaster.

Small businesses also need help just backing up and restoring files when someone accidentally deletes them. Such deletions in small businesses are quite common.

Whilst everyone understands the need for data to be backed up, what many don’t realise is how expensive and difficult it actually is with traditional solutions. In fact, the traditional approach to backing up data is a time consuming and resource intensive task. The normal procedure requires tapes to be rotated, in the right order and taken off site for secure storage.

Plug In, Switch on & Start Working

Security within smaller businesses is also an issue. Hackers today are after confidential information about businesses and their clients to commit fraud and identity theft. They employ increasingly sophisticated attacks that may use socially engineered phishing email messages. These spam messages are designed to fool even savvy computer users into thinking they are from legitimate sources. An unsuspecting user might click on a malicious executable file or URL link to a poisoned web site and automatically download malicious software.

In their pursuits hackers increasingly exploit new vulnerabilities in applications and Windows operating systems as a means of infecting computers. To battle this problem, software vendors issue frequent system updates and security patches that must be installed quickly to minimize exposure to each new threat.

In 2008, Microsoft alone issued 43 critical, 24 important and two moderate fixes, according to security experts. The previous year saw a similar amount, including 49 critical, 23 important and five moderate updates. Other application and browser vendors had numerous updates as well.

Again, many small businesses don’t have the IT expertise to track all of these patches or the time to install them. Beyond security patches, there are typically many operating system updates that must also be applied. Such installations are often time consuming.