The answer to the simple question “what is a server” is not as simple as the question. There are many types of servers used by small and medium sized businesses. The most common ones are Domain Controllers, File servers, and FTP servers. If you are in an HIPAA regulated industry such as healthcare, or you’re an accountant or attorney and have healthcare clients, you should probably be using a domain controller so that security of access to data can be controlled from a central location. The penalties for an improper and inadequate protection of patient data are being imposed and regulations enforced much more than in the early days of these policy changes, and you have probably already agreed that you understand and accept your responsibility to protect this data.
File servers simply give you a central place to store company data that can be easily backed up so that critical data is not lost if individual workstations experience catastrophic failure, which is quite common. FTP servers are used for transferring large files such as websites or videos. Support for servers can be done remotely as well as on-site, but the main consideration for a server is that they cannot be treated as a regular workstation. They are much more complex and much more sensitive to lack of routine maintenance and improper operation than regular PC’s are and their life can be shortened by half if not properly cared for.
Many server support IT services can be provided via virtual server support unless the problem has caused the server to power off or lose internet connectivity. The vast majority of small business servers run on the Microsoft Windows Server operating system, and it is designed to be connected to remotely, assuming the proper credentials have been used. Common reasons that we provide Help Desk assistance for servers:
- DNS server problems
- Proxy server
- Email server support
- 500 internal server error
- Server does not support secure connections
- SMTP auth extension
- SQL errors