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6 Key Advantages of Using File Servers

These days, investing in IT is a very smart and effective strategy for small and big businesses. One of the most beneficial IT investments, especially for new businesses, is a file server. A file server is simply a computer on your network that serves as a location for your company’s data.  Often, the server will contain folders for each department with sub-folders that fit the specific need of that department.  For instance, there may be an Information Technology folder on your file server, with sub-folders for software, policy, inventory and other IT related items.

File server availability discourages users from saving their work on their desktop or laptop computers, which may or may be be secure and backed up.  This allows businesses to keep control over their data and account for their files at all times.  Further, data can be easily backed up from a single location and restore with greater ease.  Without a centralized location to store files, where will they all end up and how can you get to what you need?  The answer is, you can’t.  Here are 6 key advantages of file servers:

1. File Access

The single most advantage of using a file server is maintaining a centralized location that holds all your company data.  This allows IT and management to access data as they need it from a predictable location with predictable results.  The folder structure can be set up in whatever way best suits the needs of your business, so long at it is intuitive and easy to navigate.  Storing files on the file server helps to ensure that problems at the desktop level don’t destroy or corrupt company data.

2. Centralized Management of Permissions

Now that your data is all in a single location, how do businesses control which employees get to see what data?  Easy.  One of the great advantages of using a file server is the ability to control access and sharing rights for the files and folders on the server.  For example, a new employee working in Finance would get access to the Finance folder, but would not get access to the Human Resources folder.  This can all be controlled from a centrally managed location on your server.  Further, sharing rights can be given to folders so they can be accessed directly from users’ desktops.

3. Data Backup and Security

The easiest way to ensure that your company data is backed up and secure is to have it all in one location.  Many businesses store their data on physical drives that are in their office.  This can be a problem when a hard disk or entire server fails, but that risk is far less than losing control of your data and it’s security.  Laptops and tablets are often lost or stolen, and desktop computers crash and die all the time.  If those devices contain the only copy of your business’s intellectual property, you could be in big trouble.  Losing data, or having it fall into the wrong hands can devastate a business.

4. Easy Data Recovery

In the event of massive data loss, it is much easier to restore a single point of failure than multiple.  Your file server will include backup and restore features that allow for easy restoration of single files, entire data sets and bare-metal machine level configurations.  So, if you delete a file accidentally it can be restored in a matter of seconds.  Also, if your server dies, you can restore the OS, configurations and data to another with little effort.

5. Manage Your Employees

Keeping track of your employees is easier with a file server.  Mistakes, irresponsibility and sabotage cost companies millions each year.  Your file server will log everything that happens on it, so when an employee blows it, you’ll know who is responsible.  Also, keeping employees from saving work on their desktops will ensure that they don’t bypass your audit trail.  It is important to remember that data created on company computers belongs to the company and should reside with them.

6. Easy User Management

Dedicated file servers allow for simple user management.  Passwords are managed in one central location and users can be added or removed as is convenient. Credentials can be frozen for leaves of absences and vacations and easily tuned re-enabled. So, if you happen to let someone go they can be locked out easily.  Also, if you hire someone you can get them to their files with ease.

File servers are important components of your network. They are essential in forming the backbone of your network.  Without a file server, your business is at risk.