If you feel that your business is growing large enough that you require a more efficient method of distributing data, and you already have a hosted VoIP solution, you may in the market for a server. A server is a central computer that stores data, runs applications and networks multiple computers. While most servers serve the same general purpose, their features can vary greatly based on what operating system they are running. If you are a business owner looking to choose the best server operating system to fit your needs, you should consider one of the few listed below.
Windows Small Business Server
Windows is the most common operating system on the market, so it is probably the most familiar to you. Windows Small Business Server is accessible and comes with all the basic features including company intranet, data sharing, shared calendars, free webinar service, remote access and backup/restoration. Its price is in the mid-range (about $1000) so while it is not exactly the most affordable, it certainly runs cheaper than a lot of its competitors. The only downside to using Windows Small Business Server is that, as the name entails, it is designed for small businesses. This means that it can only accommodate up to 75 people. If business size is not an issue and you are simply looking for all of the standard features at a reasonable price, Windows Small Business Server should prove to be an adequate server operating system for you.
Another option for small business server operating systems is Solaris by Sun Microsystems. This server can be used both with x64 workstations and AMD Opteron or Intel Xeon based processors. In addition, Solaris also works with x86 systems from Dell, HP, Intel, Fujitsu Siemens and IBM. Thankfully, the new Solaris OS 10 improved support in for paravirtualization in Xen based environments. If you want a free, open source server OS, consider Solaris.
Linux Ubuntu Server
Linux Ubuntu is a great option for startups because it is absolutely free. All you need to do to get started is access their free download, install and run it. Ubuntu’s main strength, as is the case with all Linux software, is that is open-source. This means that it can be customized and tailor-made to whatever your business needs are. It also comes in numerous versions that fit different situations depending on what you need the server for. The development community is incredibly active and always helpful. So, if you are a business that lacks funds and values open-sourcing, Linux Ubuntu Server is an ideal server operating system and will avoid your startup from failing.
Mac OS X Server
Mac OS X Server is a Unix operating system. It has full Unix conformance, which means that it is fully compatible with Apple’s existing servers and software. It comes with all of the standard features as well as a few unique ones, including live video broadcasting, video streaming, web-based collaboration and podcast encoding. All of these features make Mac OS X Server comparable to Windows Small Business Server, but it has an advantage in that can accommodate an unlimited amount of clients. Given that it is in the same price range, Mac OS X Server can be a more attractive server operating system for those who have a larger business and simply prefer Apple’s products.
FreeBSD is another Unix-based server, but it is similar to Linux Ubuntu in that it is open-sourced and free to use. Therefore, you can enjoy all the benefits of having a plethora of customization options for RFP response at no cost. It comes with UFS journaling, ARM architecture support and SCTP. FreeBSD’s main draw, however, is its reliability. It has the longest up-times, meaning it seldom ever crashes or requires kernal updates. Give FreeBSD a long look if you need a server operating system with impeccable security.
Servers are responsible for carrying vital business information across numerous platforms, so it is important that you choose a server operating system that fits your exact needs. The operating systems listed above vary greatly in price and features. Take a careful look at their descriptions and consider your business needs before settling on a server operating system.
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