Join the revolution – Why companies are ditching on site servers for Hosted Desktops
For new businesses with no legacy IT equipment, contracts or staff to worry about, opting for cloud based technology is often the obvious choice. However, for established businesses ditching onsite infrastructure may seem a giant leap into the unknown. So when the time comes to replace ageing servers why are many businesses looking to cloud computing and in particular Hosted Desktops as an alternative to replacing their onsite IT.
Total Cost of Ownership
It is very easy to look at the cost of hosted desktops and then look at the cost of a new server and think that the server option seems the cheapest. It is important to look at the total cost of ownership (TCO) of onsite IT to make a real comparison, and take into account upgrades and replacements. Many companies will look to replace servers after about 5 years. A typical shopping list for onsite server infrastructure will include:
- Purchase of the server
- Hardware warranty, including extending the warranty past the first 3 years or risk extensive downtime and additional costs when components start to fail.
- Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) vital if you don’t want expensive hardware replacement costs or loss of data when you get a power cut.
- Windows Server licences
- Client Access Licences
- Backup solution either local tape or cloud based subscription
- Server support with local IT company as a contract, or ad-hoc support
- Power and (ideally) cooling.
Financial Risks of on-site IT
Owning your own equipment brings its own risks. Firstly from a financial perspective, do you purchase a server that is future proof i.e. it has the resources in terms of power and space to look after your business as it grows? If you do there is a risk your business doesn’t grow, or not grow as fast as you thought. All those resources are sat there idle and unused. Alternatively you buy a server that will “do for now” but when your business does grow it may not have the capacity to scale with your business; so becoming obsolete when you inevitably have to purchase a bigger model.
There is a similar issue with Windows or other Microsoft licences, although you don’t need to buy them till you need them, you are stuck with them if your business contracts.
Server support is another financial risk. Do you pay a local IT company £100 a month to support your server or just call them in on an ad-hoc basis and hope they are available when your server crashes for some unknown reason?
Business Risks of on-site IT
Most businesses completely rely on their IT and will be severely impacted if systems aren’t available even for a short time. Of course IT systems fail all the time for all sorts of reasons, hardware failure, misconfiguration, malware, even user error.
With an on-site server mitigation of these risks falls to you. Backups, for example, have been the “get out of jail free” card for many businesses affected by ransomware attacks. As a business owner or the person in charge of the IT, it is your responsibility to make sure backups always run and then you have contingency plans in the event of hardware failure.
How does a hosted desktop replace the on-site server?
A hosted desktop solution uses remote desktop services to provide a platform to run the business applications that would normally run on the PCs. The data for the applications and any documents also reside on the server so it is all self-contained. The whole thing is supported and managed by the Hosted Desktop provider.
There are key benefits of working this way:
- Low initial investment
- Offload the maintenance responsibilities: Backups, Managed Antivirus, Windows Updates are all done by the hosting provider
- Quick to scale up
- Almost infinitely expandable
- Flexibility to increase or decrease user numbers
- Users can work from anywhere there is an Internet connection
- Users can use any device, including Mac, PC, iPad and Android.
- Costs per user are usually less than a typical mobile phone contract
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Your Office Anywhere are one of the country’s longest established Hosted Desktop providers. To find out how Hosted Desktops could help your business ditch the on-site server get in touch via our contact page.
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