IT Support &
Business Software

Can SMBs really go serverless in 2019?

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Back in the day…..

serverless-office-cloud-computingPCR was first formed in the relatively early days of Personal Computing in the early 1990s. For the SMB (Small and Medium Sized Business) market, PCs were not the norm on ALL desks. Often organisations had PCs and printers that were not connected and data that was not shared seamlessly. In fact, the following scenarios were fairly common;

  • Printers were connected using a variety of ingenious solutions. These included sharing over the mains via a plug socket or connecting PCs using switch boxes, to name a couple.
  • Data was shared via diskette, copied and physically moved to another PC by walking to it, and inserting the diskette. These diskettes had a minuscule capacity of 1.44Mb! Furthermore, viruses were easily spread via this “foot based” network.
  • There was a single PC for the accounts, with a dot matrix printer attached to it, that individuals could use one at a time!

Of course things changed rapidly for SMBs. The introduction of Peer to Peer network products like LANtastic and Windows for Workgroups, and Server-based network solutions like Novell NetWare changed the landscape of computing for the SMB Market. These products brought shared data networks to organisations of all sizes, and allowed sharing of PC-based applications and printers.

The rise of connected technology

Fast forward 20 years, and we witnessed significant change in our lives at work. Every desk had a PC, most with multiple screens. Today we cannot imagine not being connected, seamlessly sharing applications, printers, scanners and data in the workplace.

To facilitate this change, early pioneers in SMB networking were usurped by Microsoft. Windows Server became the norm, and in the relative recent past, Small Business Server became the Operating System of choice for the SMB office.

Windows Small Business Server, much like Office, tied together multiple Microsoft Back Office Server products. Exchange Server for email, SQL Server for Database Applications, and Windows Server for the file and print sharing requirement. All of these ran on a single “box”, in harmony with one another.

As our requirements evolved, data volumes increased and configurations became more complex (remote working, multiple office configs), so did our requirement for servers. Network design tended to separate functions, to eliminate a single point of failure. Moreover, with the advent of virtualisation technology, the number of servers deployed increased. SMBs would commonly have dedicated servers for each function; File and Print, Application Server, Exchange Server and AV Server.

IT systems increased in complexity and at the same time, organisations became more reliant on their IT to trade. IT security also became an increasing issue. Organisations wanted to provide flexible IT systems that allowed them to work flexibly.

2019 and Cloud Computing

Alongside this increasing complexity and reliance, came an increase in cost. This, coupled with the rise in Cloud technology, has led to a reduction in server numbers. So much so that we have to consider, can we go serverless in 2019….?

Unfortunately, the answer to this is not a simple yes or no. Every organisation has a different make up, and different requirements, so there is no one size fits all approach here.

However, for an increasing number of companies, the answer is yes. There are now a number of cloud-based services and applications that can reduce or even eliminate your reliance on the server in your office. It could reduce your IT costs, and give you the opportunity to work with significantly more flexibility.

With our Cloud security solutions, hosted server and desktop, Office 365, and Dynamics 365, it is possible to take the (sometimes) noisy server out of your office, free up the space of the air conditioned room, and replace it with a variety of cloud based services and applications.

We have cloud solutions for CRM, Finance Software, File Storage, Email and much much more.

Removing the servers from your office could streamline your IT systems and reduce the management time and costs associated with IT. In addition, greater access to your data and applications provides superior disaster recovery options, and offers greater flexibility in the workplace.

It may seem like the turkeys are voting for Christmas, but we believe that SMBs may now have the opportunity to reduce their IT costs, by going server-free.

 


Author: Nick Barber, Director at PCR

Nick is a founder of the company and has financial responsibility for the running of the business. He oversees the business software division and is ultimately responsible for the implementation and project management of Pegasus Opera and Microsoft Dynamics 365 systems for clients.


 

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