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Small Business Networking
Author: Tim Taylor

 

Small Business Networking

How to set up a Business Server Environment (From 2 to 100 computers)

Do you need a server in your office? What is a server? What are the advantages to having a server?

Sample Client: A law firm recently contacted TaylorWorks with questions regarding the set up of a shared business environment. They have a domain (www.company.com), 8 machines, they use AOL for emails, they have a legal application they use to run the law firm and printers they would like to share. They would also like a more professional presence on the web and the ability to share documents and communicate with each other.

The solution. A Business Server Environment.

A server is just like the PC at your desk, but it is more powerful, it has 2 processors, more memory, larger hard drives, multiple hard drives (so if one fails the other one takes over) and a tape back up drive.

With a Server you can run Microsoft Exchange which allows you to share information with other PC’s. It will host your emails, shared applications and printers in one centralized location.

Advantages: Having a server is more powerful than using a regular desktop PC in someone's office. On a server, redundancy is built in so there is a complete back up of everything in the event a machine’s hard drive goes down. If you store everything on one machine and that person is sick or on vacation chances are you won’t be able to access the information or be able to find it. If the machine’s hard drive goes down then all of the documents on that machine are lost. If there is a glitch and they have to restart you will loose the information you were working on.

In a network, everyone can share documents (for example contracts, spreadsheets, proposals etc…), you can share printers, contacts and software.

A server operating system, like Version 2000 or 2003, is designed to stay up and running.

There are 3 back ups in a Shared Business Environment.

  1. A secondary hard drive is on the server. If one of the hard drives fails, the information is still stored on the secondary one.
  2. A tape back up. There is a tape that is replaced daily that stores the information from that day.
  3. A remote back up. We take the critical data and upload it to our servers in the event of a fire or other destruction to your office. This is done over the internet in a controlled secure environment.

Email in a Shared Business Environment:

In a business environment you can set up your email in a professional manner.

What will your client think when they receive an email from Pretty-girl829@yahoo.com?

Doesn’t LisaJohnson@yourcompany.com or JohnDavis@yourcompany.com sound more professional and uniform?

With a server environment your company can share contacts. You can still keep a personal contact list, but one centralized contact list will save time when someone is looking for a phone number or address for a client that is only on the receptionists computer and she’s on vacation!

Another advantage is having your email stored on the server. If your computer’s hard drive dies you won’t loose your emails.

You can build one shared calendar. Have you every had to set up a meeting and you have have to email all those that are participating and ask them what day and time they are available and then ask the next person who is not available at that time then you have to go back to the other person to set up a different time. This is very time consuming. With a shared calendar everyone can use a master calendar. You can designate a color for each person and setting up meeting is so much easier. Management can monitor where their technicians or sales reps are out on the field.

Another advantage is when you need another PC set up in the office. It is very easy to connect to the server and get everything running quickly.

Remote access: What happens if you are sick or your child is sick and you need to work from home? The only problem is all of the document you need to work are at the office. With a small business server you can work remotely. You remote connect using your laptop or home computer. All you need is internet access and Internet Explorer. The screen goes black in your office in case someone is in there. TaylorWorks can show you how to remote connect and access all of your documents from your office computer in 5 minutes.

TIP:

Work with a professional company that comes in and gets you set up correctly so you can work efficiently. Once you are set up the server can be maintained remotely.


Hard Drive Recovery
Author: Tim Taylor

 

What happens if your hard drive dies? Can the information be recovered?

Remember record players how the arm came down and the head would read the record. The hard drive is like a stack of records with a little room in between each one. Multiple heads read the information. If you hear a clicking noise you are probably hearing the heads moving and the control mechanism is probably broken. You can contact www.ontrack.com. You can send them the hard drive to recover the information.

There are other alternatives that you can try before sending your hard drive off. Keep in mind sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t.

Open the computer by taking the sides off. When you see the hard drive you can tap it slightly and it may “un-stick” itself. You can also try turning everything off, take out the hard drive and shake it a little and reinstall it. If this works be prepared to back everything up quickly in the event it malfunctions again. You can also take the hard drive and put it in a plastic bag and place it in the freezer. Sometimes the cold gets it back on track. If all of these fail send it to On Track at www.ontrack.com.


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