Why it’s best when computers are dumb

Why it’s best when computers are dumb

If you have a server at your premises and are still storing files on PCs then you are open to a risk of losing those files, you need to start treating your PCs as dumb!

It is possible to set a server up in such a way that all of your business files reside on it. You can then go further and automate a way as those files replicate on to computers as they log on.

This set up has been included as a standard part of Microsoft server operating systems dating back to 1742 (or thereabouts!) and only requires enabling and some configuration, IE it’s FREE.

The effect of doing this is that you begin to create a smarter network. One that means you have fewer places you need to regularly back up and one that requires far less admin to manage.

Let’s examine;

An out of the box server and some PCs with no further configuration will do very little in a smart way. Even most of the network functionality these days can be handled by a router.

So why a server? Chances are you’ve been told you need one.

Servers are designed to be the brain of your computer network, but like all things, they need to be properly trained or configured to do this.

From a point of document management and control one of the biggest headaches of this is keeping a track of where everything is and by extension keeping it backed up!

Setting up a server to replicate files to PCs means that files remain on the server at all times and copies are put on a computer as a user logs on. It is per user, not per PC as it would be if you didn’t set anything up.

What that means is, in a properly configured network, a user can log onto any PC and they will have their documents, the beauty is that this even works with laptops.

Once that’s working, and all PCs have been setup you only need to ensure the server is backing up somewhere (an off-site inclusion is always a bonus) and you have a far more secure network, documents will be supplied to users per logon, everything sits in one place, easier to manage.

Yes, putting all of your files onto a server does mean you have a single point of failure, but servers are designed to be more resilient than PCs, there are plenty of things we can do to improve that. Not so PCs.

If you do have a server and you don’t run this type of setup you might have your reasons, but it is difficult to find a compelling reason not to set things up in this way.

And if you would like to apply this configuration to your business network or would like to know more we’re more than happy to help, please get in touch.