A huge majority of the population, whether working, studying, or just plain bumming around practically owns a personal computer, most likely a computer powered by Windows. Windows 8 is the latest outing from technology giant Microsoft. Now does owning a Windows personal computer automatically mean you should also open your wallet for a Windows Server?

The many Windows of opportunity: Personal Computer and Server Computer

A Windows personal computer is basically a computer running on a Windows Operating system such as the Windows 8. This is in contrast to say, a computer running on Apple Macintosh or Linux. As anyone born in this day and age would know, a computer is an essential item in any household and more so in a business, performing functions such as enabling Internet usage, storage of files and other data, and use of programs and applications to accomplish daily tasks. If these are basically the actions you perform on your PC, then a Microsoft PC is all you need. But for businesses, it is another story altogether.

Does your business automatically need a Windows Server?

Small businesses usually start with two to three personal computers. These run individually but would require sharing and transmittal of data and storage, which is usually done through peer-to-peer or home group connections. For a limited size operation, this would work. But what if the business grows to a larger payroll and starts producing increased output? What then?

When is the time to make the Windows Server investment?

Some experts and consultants peg down the number to a minimum employee count of five, which then translates to five computers that need to talk and share information every day. When a business grows to hit that number, they would need a Windows Server.

A Windows Server by definition is a server computer that “serves” other computers. It is essentially a computer for others, basically fulfilling the requests of other programs such as HTML pages or files through a local or remote network. Microsoft’s Windows Server runs these administrative tasks for a large population of datacenters, small businesses, and different organizations worldwide. What exactly are these tasks that a Windows Server can do that a humble Windows PC could not?

  • Returning a list of local disk drives on a server
  • Listing all visible servers of a particular type or types in a specified domain
  • Returning configuration information about a specified server
  • Setting the operating parameters for a server

What are the benefits of owning a Windows Server?

An investment in a Windows Server does not only mean dollar expense. Getting a Windows Server up and running is no trivial task, whether for a small business with no IT department, or a larger company with large amount of data to be sorted. But still, experts insist that the transition and the birth pains are worth it because of the following benefits:

  • Security – Security of files and the network is one if not the most important issue addressed by the Windows Server. Investing in a reliable server allows the business to define users, restrict access, and assign roles to ensure only the right persons are allowed to view and manipulate company data.
  • Reliability – Having a dedicated Windows Server increases the reliability of a network in ways a regular peer-to-peer sharing relationship cannot. For one, the Windows Server would keep the network running even in case of hardware malfunction in a user’s computer.
  • Centralized data storage – Data storage is secure in multiple hard drives. This centralized storage allows multiple users to access the centralized databases for a more efficient process.
  • Virus Management – With the Windows Server, it is easier to monitor and regularly update anti-virus programs in all computers to ensure the protection of the network.

Getting a Windows Server to go with your Windows PC is a question of purpose and efficiency. Growing businesses would benefit greatly from investing in the Windows Server, especially if they expect further business growth in the future.