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And we’re off and racing into a new financial year! It’s hard to believe we’ve only got 5 months to go until Christmas! (sorry about that!)

All this recent IT talk of Windows XP going End of Life must’ve prompted Microsoft to ‘End of Life’ some more products. The one of most interest is the announcement that Windows Server 2003 which was released on April 24th 2003, is going to be officially End of Life on 14th July 2015. 12 years…not a bad run.

With an estimated 11.7million servers worldwide still running Windows Server 2003, this will be a huge job to transition these machines to a new ‘safer’ Operating System. It will mean replacement hardware as most of the old servers running Windows Server 2003 will not be able to run the latest Server 2012 editions, or migration of services into the cloud.

The point in case of cloud vs on premise hardware solutions is still forefront in conversations, and still confuses people to this day as to the direction to take.

Here at EtherTech, we obviously support our clients’ needs whether they decide to remain on premise or ‘cloudify’ their business.  There are many pros and cons with both solutions; for example a recent client has been going through this exact scenario, where they needed to replace their existing file servers due to age. They required: 5 users to access local storage, remote access, printing, and the normal applications like MYOB and MS Office. Nothing out of the ordinary.

The issue now becomes cost benefit vs hosted system. For two new File Servers (you need a server for remote access and another for File/Print) you are looking at 10k+ unless you decide to use virtual machines and have all your servers ‘hosted’ on a single server (but it’d still require the ‘horsepower’ to run these machines) so similar sort of price; this also means a single point of failure. Plus you have all the setup and configuration costs, insurance, backup responsibility, cooling and power consumption, patch management and firewall security and ongoing updates.

This all adds up rapidly in terms of support costs, but is definitely a solution a lot of businesses still do, as it means all data is kept in-house and is not reliant on any 3rd parties for day to day operation. The total cost for this style of setup would be around 20k mark depending on your requirements.

The Cloud option means that you remove the local aspect of having to have servers, cooling, power, backups, insurance, maintenance etc to EtherTech, and we then provide the services you require to you via the internet. Remote access, file print, firewall, security, MYOB can all be hosted in the cloud for a monthly expansible fee, rather than a massive capital (depreciative) cost, spread over many years.

How much you ask?

Well here again it depends on the services required, but for example with this client for remote access, MYOB, Email and file/print storage you are looking around the $70 per month per user mark. So for 5 users you’d be up for $350 a month, even then, your cost breakeven for the 20k outlay would still be 57months! (4.75 years!), and includes all updates to latest versions of Microsoft software as they are made available, backups updates the whole lot.

For many businesses this makes better economic sense and gives them greater ‘portability’ and access to their data remotely.

The biggest issue with the ‘cloud’ in any form is the internet. With your total reliance now on a reliable internet connection to access your data, any failures by ISPs instantly cripples you. EtherTech eliminate this by ensuring our clients run ‘failover to 3G/4G’ in their network to ensure maximum ‘uptime’ at all times.

If you want to discuss any of the things discussed in this article, or need more information, please give us a call anytime to discuss your requirements!

Until next month!