Microsoft Home Servers

Arnclan provide Windows Home Servers for small businesses that need a peer-to-peer network for sharing data. It gives companies a centralised method of backing up and securing data, accessible from multiple locations.

Amongst many other qualifications, Arnclan is a approved Microsoft business partner.

A typical small business server scenario

You know you need a server when

  • You have around 3 workstations and 2 laptops, where one of the workstations has been designated as a ‘server’ for the purpose of providing file storage.
  • A single broadband internet service together with a wireless router provides both wired and wireless internet connectivity.
  • Backing up is perhaps sporadic or irregular
  • Working at home or remotely is ‘possible’ but ‘clunky’
  • From time-to-time users have lost mail due to PST files getting lost and/or corrupt

Consider Windows Home Server.

Do not be misled by the ‘Home’ in the name. Windows Home Server is ideally suited to a small business.

Microsoft themselves say:

Don’t be fooled by the name. Windows Home Server was designed as a solution that is as functional in a small office setting as it is in your home. Windows Home Server is a dependable and affordable way to organize and safeguard your work for up to 10 computers.

The key features that make this a good solution:

Backup for your business

Doing the work of a dedicated IT team without the cost, Windows Home Server can automatically back up 10 computers, and entirely restore them if any should fail. You can quickly retrieve individual files, folders, or your complete computer from previous backups, in case of accidental deletion or loss.

Centralise your data

Using Windows Home Server, you can easily manage all your data in one place, freely accessible by all the computers on your network and securely shared with others you trust outside your business.

Access your work from virtually anywhere

Windows Home Server includes Internet Information Services (IIS), which allows secure access to your files via the web. This makes it easy to get your important information from outside of your office, through your securely protected personal website.

After the installation of Windows Home Server, 3rd party applications are not required to access the ‘server’ workstation to work remotely.

Windows Home Server will add a number of new features to your local network specifically designed to enhance remote user experience. Included in this are two features that people find extremely useful:

  • A web portal from which to initiate a secure remote desktop session.
  • A web based utility to upload and download files to/from the Home Server

This uses the ‘Offline Files’ feature of Windows Professional Desktop operating systems (e.g. Vista Business).

*Not available with Vista Home Basic or Vista Home Premium However, Microsoft SyncToy (which is a free download from Microsoft) will provide similar, but not identical, functionality, or consider an upgrade to Windows 7 Professional.

Duplicate copies of data on different physical disks

And the bit that really singles out this solution as ideal for most small businesses:

When you connect multiple hard drives, a duplicate copy of your important files will be saved for added protection. If one hard drive fails, you can simply restore the data mirrored on another hard drive—­­it’s RAID made simple.

Windows Home Server then, finally, once and for all, will sort out backups of client workstations and laptops and protect centrally stored, ‘shared’ data by maintaining duplicate copies.

Why Consider Arnclan

Arnclan has considerable experience of implementing Microsoft Server based solutions. We are currently supporting 48 companies whose IT infrastructure is built around Microsoft Small Business Server or Windows Home Server. Of these, Arnclan was responsible for the initial deployment of 39.

You, therefore, can be assured that your IT systems and your valuable data are in safe hands.

Being a small business ourselves we fully appreciate the need to minimise any disruption to your IT and e-mail systems and take this into account in our project planning.

Server Installation Timescales

A Windows Home Server installation project is comfortably achievable in 3 weeks and can usually be completed more quickly if urgent.

Server hardware and software is usually available ex-stock from our suppliers, and we generally allow 2 – 3 days to complete the ‘offsite’ preparation of the server and 1 – 2 days to carry out the work onsite.

Resources

Arnclan currently has a team of five engineers, all of whom are conversant with Microsoft Server deployments. However, one of Arnclan’s two Microsoft Certified Professionals will be assigned as ‘Project Manager’ to oversee any Microsoft Server installation.

Why not talk it through with us? Contact us for a conversation, we’ll be delighted to provide advice on your own scenario.