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IT and your business

We focus our articles on your business to help you better understand what IT solutions work best for you.

Published 28 January 2019

Daniel Powell

Daniel Powell
Senior IT Project Manager

If you are using a server for files and emails then Yes, you can ditch your server! In Daniels first blog post he discusses how.
Daniel

Can you ditch your server?

Do you really need a server to run your business?

In the era of “the cloud” you might be wondering – “Can I ditch my server”?

The answer is possibly Yes! Let’s look at a few scenarios.

I use my server for E-mail and Office Documents.

If you are using a server for files and emails then Yes, you can ditch your server!

These can be replaced with the below services.

  1. Migrate your files to Dropbox for Business

Apograph recommends Dropbox for Business Advanced.

Dropbox for Business Advanced is built specifically for businesses seeking cloud storage with advanced collaboration, administration, audit, and integration features.

The Advanced package contains a full range of rich features, our favourite features are:

  • Unlimited storage space
  • Advanced admin controls
  • 120 days of file recovery
  • Smart Sync
  • Office 365 integration
  • Granular sharing permissions
  • User and company-managed groups
  • File event tracking
  • Device approvals
  1. Migrate your emails to Office365

For most small business Office 365 is the ideal choice for Email and Communication.

We recommend the Premium Subscription which offers you the following features.

  • 50Gb mailbox per person, mailbox sharing, calendars and contacts fully synced to any device.
  • The latest version of the popular Microsoft Office suite (currently 2019) – Each person can install office on up to 5 devices.
  • Skype for Business
  1. Manage devices and users by adding them to Azure AD

By now many of your devices will probably be running Windows 10.

Windows 10 Pro can be joined to Azure Active Directory services using your Office 365 account, this provides the ability to manage identity and access to cloud and\or on premises resources.

Single sign on can be used with Dropbox and other cloud services so you have one password for many services, this saves you having to remember numerous passwords for different services.

Running Basic Line of Business Programs like Sage 50 Accounts.

If you really wish to ditch your server then line of business applications like Sage 50 Accounts don’t need a Windows Server to run.

These can easily be transferred to a Desktop and they will work just like it’s on a Windows Server. Only downside is the desktop will have to be left on for the application to be available.

If this is not possible (perhaps you have all laptops in your office) then a NAS will do the job just as good.

A NAS has a much lower cost vs a server so if you must move to a NAS then this will reduce the complexity of your network and reduce running costs.

There are also plenty of Cloud Services like Xero, Sage one and QuickBooks online that you can migrate to.

It’s best to trial a few as each have their pros and cons, so you can see which services fits your business the best.

If you have an accountant, they will be able to provide some detailed guidance on this.

There are plenty of other cloud services which can replace 99% of Line of Business applications (anything from Document Management to CRM Systems).

Apograph has a great portfolio of cloud services so give us a call if you need some advice.

The Public Cloud

If you do need a server (or need to add an existing server to your current infrastructure and don’t have the resources to do so) then consider a public cloud offering like Azure.

Azure Virtual machines are costed on usage, so you only pay for the server usage you use.

Running a mid-tier server in Azure (16GB RAM 2 x vCPUS, Standard 500GB Hard Drive) is around £50pm.

If the server isn’t needed at certain times (i.e. after hours, weekends, bank holidays etc) then it can be stopped and deallocated. If an Azure VM is deallocated it means the resources have been removed and you are not being charged for that Virtual Machine.

Using an Azure point to site VPN will give you the ability to connect your existing network to the Azure cloud and scale out the on premises infrastructure to a hybrid solution.

I don’t like paying for a subscription, I like to buy outright.

Even with the benefits of the cloud some businesses just like to buy their IT outright and avoid the subscription model which comes with Cloud Computing.

If you don’t want to move your IT to a subscription model, then stick with on premise.

What matters is that you get choices when facing an IT refresh, so you can decide which pricing model fits your business.

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