Why you may still want a Server even in the age of “Cloud” Computing:
Your data remains on site and in your control.
You are not nearly as dependent on your internet connectivity.
You have centralized administration, security, and maintenance.
You are mostly free or at least insulated from subscription rate hikes!
Microsoft, of course, has moved to an all “Cloud” play for what used to be Small Business Server, which means endless subscription fees. There IS still a remnant in 2019 Windows Server Essentials but it’s being phased out: What’s New in Windows Server 2019 Essentials | Microsoft Docs
As of 10/4/2022 even the Windows Server Essentials option is now gone, Microsoft suggests Microsoft365 as a replacement(https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/business?rtc=1). From what we’ve seen it does seem to be a cloud version of Small Business Server essentially, but with a LOT more functionality, collaboration tools, security, and a lot more if you’re willing to pay $22/month or more per user. For businesses that are already heavily dependent on Microsoft Office and want the extra collaboration and other tools as well as integrated and configurable security features this could be a good deal. There are also tools to backup MS365 data to other cloud backups or to local NAS devices etc. Currently investigating MS365 more thoroughly.
Another option is obviously Google Workspace if you’re not heavy Microsoft Office users, almost entirely cloud based but can be backed up locally to Synology NAS devices or other cloud providers. Some good collaboration tools like Google Drive and Meet.
Zoho Work Drive and Zoho apps offer another cloud solution that generally seems pretty good, they have many apps including a popular CRM.
Other possibilities for local servers still exist with Linux and open source software, this would be a much more customized solution and very dependent on the necessary business software involved.
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