Many multi-user programs require Windows Server. That’s probably the reason many people buy a server but there are other reasons.
Our general attitude is that a server should last six years. Why? New versions of Server comes out about every three years. Versions 2010, 2012, 2012R2 (release in 2013) and 2016. The next version, Windows Server 2019 was announced in March 2018 and is scheduled to be released before the end of the year.
The hardware may last for ten years. But you should buy hardware with the expectation of replacing it sooner. Price your server with the goal of lasting five or six years. If you hold it longer, that’s fine. There are several issues:
- Hardware prices drop and performance increases. After three years, the original equipment is no longer for sale. It has been discontinued.
- Most manufacturers sell three-year support agreements. If your hardware fails then you need replacement parts the next day. After three years, you can get extended agreements. At some point, the cost is more than the equipment is worth.
- Cost of the Windows Server software. You can do an in-place upgrade but half of the cost can be in the Server software. Usually, it will not make financial sense to upgrade the operating system.
Many businesses need a server to run multi-user accounting, bookkeeping,
Windows Server is the heart of your computer system. It manages the shared files and the security settings (who has access to what).
If you have less than ten computers in your office, you can get buy with Windows 10. In a few cases, you can use a Mac, Linux or a NAS box. They will work in certain situations. That will be another post.
We at Farsight work with you to come up with the specifications so that you don’t spend too much or too little. We don’t sell hardware and will work with your supplier to get you the best deal. We will work with whomever you choose. Our goal is to get you a system that we can install and maintain for years.