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HP MicroServer Offers Small Business Versatility

It’s no secret that I love cloud computing. I’ve moved the majority of my own work to cloud hosted solutions, simply because it allows me to effectively outsource a lot of the work I’d rather let another person manage, like infrastructure and software upgrades and maintenance. Many small teams follow this pattern, using solutions like Google Apps for Domains to outsource email and Basecamp for project management, in order to name a couple examples.

HP Microserver

There are a few things that simply make sense to maintain on premise, specifically if you deal with extremely large files. For small companies, the HP ProLiant MicroServer is really a versatile solution because of these on premise tasks. MicroServers are really simple to configure, provide reliability of a far more robust server, and they are powerful enough to address many small company tasks. Minimal fan noise won’t drown out the office should you don’t possess a server room. The elegant industrial design may even generate conversation if an office visitor sees it sitting on a desk.

Here are several scenarios where I think the HP ProLiant MicroServer can shine for small enterprises, specifically those that take care of creative assets.

On Premise Storage

There are two specific scenarios I see played out inside small businesses with some regularity. One scenario would be that the person who gets the file essential for completing a project no longer has sufficient the office and unavailable. The second scenario is way more dire - many hours are wasted wanting to recover data from laptops that weren’t backed up.

Both of such scenarios can be solved by making use of something much like the HP MicroServer as being a storage solution. The MicroServer is expandable to around 12TB of storage, which is plenty for most small enterprise storage needs. You could further expand that storage by coupling it with a cloud solution for overflow or less essential needs.

By configuring automatic backups, the data recovery scenario becomes realistic. By making sure files can be obtained, either through the use of a digital asset management solution like the one described below or by enforcing an insurance policy to use a common file server, projects don’t get blocked when files leave the dwelling.

Digital Asset Management

Organizations doing creative work typically work with large video assets, Photoshop and Illustrator files, and various other assets that belongs to specific projects. For example, I have two or three terabytes of video clips that require my attention at any given time. Some of that footage might be on my laptop or workstation, but I should keep a record in the footage, what it’s for, how it’s used, and what project it’s related to.

Configuring the MicroServer having a digital asset management (DAM) application, like ResourceSpace by way of example, could simplify creative asset management. The files can be found via storage about the local network via a relatively fast connection. This prevents employees from using local hard drive space, whilst creating a central repository that might be easily duplicated. A DAM provides version tracking, as well as the ability to log approval processes along the way.

Remote Desktop and VPN

When I travel, I try to prevent accessing sensitive data on the network connections in hotels and coffee shops. I have very little confidence those services are now being well maintained. Instead of risking compromised data, I prefer to utilize a connection returning to a trusted computer during my office.

The MicroServer is perfectly suitable for act as the endpoint for the VPN in a office or host a desktop that accepts remote connections.

Print Server

While developing a WiFi connected printer largely eliminated the need to get a print server inside my office, there are many scenarios where creating a network connected printer still means passing by having a server. An always on MicroServer is perfectly worthy of handling print serving duties.

Accounting Virtual Machine

At every business I’ve worked for accounting is a part time function. Due to the nature of licensing restrictions around accounting software, it typically gets attached to a single machine although accounting job function doesn’t have a very permanent desk. Virtual machines are a good solution to this problem, since they're easily accessible across the network. A fully loaded MicroServer could easily handle the storage, memory, and CPU needs on an accounting virtual machine, while juggling many of such other job functions.

Home Media Server

While the majority of the MicroServer scenarios I propose above are focused on small company solutions, any of them can also double for your kitchen at home. The MicroServer is priced in the range that’s affordable for that serious media enthusiast too. Serving all of your music library or possibly a collection of videos from a central location is a thing I’ve written about at many points previously. Using the MicroServer, you recruit a high amount of reliability from server class hardware, as well as the ability to expand to 12TB of storage, as well as 16GB of RAM in case you want to guide some other functions without anyone's knowledge at the same time. Something like FreeNAS might be the ideal solution for that home user who wants a blend of business and entertainment.

You is able to see a walkthrough of the features with this video I recorded at HP Discover:

To find out if the HP ProLiant MicroServer is practical for your business, be sure you check out the full product details.

Disclosure: HP provided me which has a review unit of the HP Proliant MicroServer Gen8. The opinions expressed listed here are entirely my own, personal and have not been relying on HP.

Jake Ludington (67 Posts)

Jake Ludington is really a video content strategist and marketing operations professional having a passion for big data and cloud computing. You can find him blogging about from enterprise computing to his favorite apps to operationalizing your online video publishing.

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