Do I still need a local server if I move to office 365 or hosted servers?

A local Windows server will still offer some benefits to organisations that move totally to the cloud – it does depend whether you plan to keep your current PCs or replace with dumb terminals or thin clients.

Benefits of having a local server to compliment hosted solutions:

  

  • Store and share legacy documents and databases (your hosted solution may not have the space)
  • Central location for printer shares -  access printers more easily
  • Central location and administration of username and passwords  – for both local users and office 365 accounts -makes it easier to reset passwords etc
  • Do you have accounting software like MYOB or Quickbooks or any other custom database that is not supported by your chosen cloud solution?
  • Your existing Anti-virus solution requires a central console for updates etc (you can move to a cloud solution though)
  • Central location to manage Windows desktop OS updates.
  • For data protection, you may even consider to backup/sync your cloud data to your local server  (you need to review retention polices on your Exchange or Sharepoint hosted services – eg. how long do they keep deleted emails – might only be 30 days)

 

So in summary a Windows Server still has its place to help administer a network of computers – even though email and documents are stored in the cloud.

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