How to set up a Business Server for small and midsize businesses

July 17, 2023

Hello, Are you looking to set up a business server? Whether you are a startup or an established business in Portland, you will need to automate some or more of your processes at a certain point in time, and for that, you would need dedicated SMB servers.

In this post, we will see the criteria to be considered while setting up a business server for small businesses. So grab a cup of coffee and continue reading this post.

Setting up a server can be daunting, especially for those with little to no experience in the area. However, with a bit of research, planning, and qualified help, anyone can set up a server. This guide will walk you through setting up a server, step by step, so you can have your server up and running.

High-level steps to set up a Business Server

Here are the steps you will need to follow; we will discuss each.

1. Decide what business you will be doing with the server.

2. Research what type of server hardware is needed for your intended purpose.

3. Consider what OS you need and if you need a GUI.

4. Purchase the server hardware.

5. Assemble the server according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

6. Install the OS on the server.

7. Configure the OS for the intended purpose.

8. Choose Server Location

9. Implement Security Controls

1. Decide what business you will be doing with the server

Every business is different, and you must decide which part or process you want to move to a server. Whether in B2B or B2C space, you will have various back end & front-end processes; some of them would be exposed to the external world. Those processes/ tasks will help decide what kind of server you will use. Getting a server on the cloud is also an option now.

Some standard servers tasks are:

1.1 Web Servers

Web servers are computers that host websites and provide access to them over the internet. They are also known as web hosting services. These servers are responsible for storing and organizing data sent to and received from clients. A website’s server may store information about its visitors, including their IP addresses, browser type, operating system, and referring pages. Websites often use cookies to identify returning users. In addition, they may use log files to track user behavior patterns.

1.2. Application Servers

Application servers are software programs designed to run applications. An application server hosts an application and provides access to it over the internet. Applications hosted by an application server may perform tasks such as e-commerce transactions, online banking, stock trading, etc.

1.3. Database Servers

Database servers are software programs that organize and manage databases. Databases are collections of records that are classified according to specific criteria. Most businesses’ master and transaction data is stored in the DB servers.

1.4. Email Servers

Email servers are computer systems that send email messages. Email servers receive incoming mail from other servers and forward it to the intended recipient. Mail servers can also relay outgoing mail to other servers.

1.5. File Servers

File servers are computer systems that store files. Files stored on a file server may be accessed using an HTTP network protocol. A file server may also serve as a print spooler, providing printers access to shared documents.

1.6. Proxy Servers

Proxy servers act as intermediaries between client computers and remote servers. Client computers connect to proxy servers rather than directly connecting to remote servers. When a client connects to a proxy server, the proxy server establishes a connection with the remote server and forwards requests to the remote server.

1.7. Print Servers

Print servers are computer systems that manage printing jobs. Print servers receive print jobs from client computers and direct them to printers.

2. Research what type of server hardware is needed for your intended purpose.

Once you decide what kind of work your server will handle, you should get qualified help finding the correct business server for your need. Check out this post on the best business servers for small businesses. It would give you an idea in terms of configuration and pricing.

3. Consider what OS you need and if you need a GUI

Your business server is the backbone of your organization. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to access your data or even send emails. Therefore, selecting a reliable operating system (OS) is essential.

Choosing the right operating system for your business server can sometimes be tricky. There are several things to consider before choosing. What kind of applications does your company run? Will they require high performance or reliability? Is your budget limited?

Now it also depends upon your IT staff’s skill and preference. Do they need a command line interface to manage the server or a GUI?

Which one is best for me?

There are many choices: Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, FreeBSD, Solaris, AIX, etc.

3.1. Windows Server 2019

Microsoft released its latest version of Windows Server, Windows Server 2019, at Ignite 2018. The release includes many improvements over previous versions of Windows Server. One of the most significant changes is moving away from using x86 processors to ARM-based processors. Microsoft says that this change will allow them to make their operating system more secure while also making it easier to run on smaller devices. Many small organizations prefer this OS.

3.2. Linux

Linux is an open-source operating system. Linus Torvalds developed it at the University of Helsinki. Linux is free and is widely used in servers. It comes in various flavors depending on the distribution. Ubuntu is one example of a popular Linux flavor. It sas both GUI and command line options.

3.3. Mac OS X Server 1.2v3

Mac OS X Server is designed to provide centralized management of Mac computers running Apple’s operating system (OS X). In the case of a server for Macintosh users, the server manages user accounts, e-mail, file sharing, printing, and security.

3.4. FreeBSD

FreeBSD is a Unix-like operating system that is entirely open source. It is similar to Linux in its structure and design. FreeBSD is often used in routers and firewalls due to its stability and security.

3.5. Solaris 11 Express

Solaris 11 Express is a UNIX-based operating system compatible with SPARC and x86 processors.

3.6. OpenSUSE 12.3

OpenSUSE is a Linux-based operating system that supports both SPARC and x64 processors. It is also known as Tumbleweed.

3.7. CentOS 6.0

CentOS is a community-supported Linux distribution. It is based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and is compatible with both SPARCS and x86 processors.

Of any of the OS you choose check their support service, customization options and the Cost of running.

4. Purchase the server hardware.

Next, you can place an order. Most brands will allow customized configuration options based on your requirement. Our recommended servers are from Dell. AlwaysOnIT is a Registered Dell Partner and can help you get your server at the lowest cost possible.

5. Assemble the server according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

You will need to assemble the server if you have ordered components separately.

Check out the user manual and take help from a qualified professional.

The important components are

5.1. CPU

The central processing unit (CPU) is the heart of any computer system. It’s what makes everything work together and perform tasks efficiently. A good CPU should have at least four cores, eight threads, and 16 GB of RAM.

5.2. Motherboard

A motherboard is the foundation of any computer system. You need a motherboard if you want to use more than one processor. Most motherboards today feature PCI Express slots, which can accommodate graphics cards. Look for a motherboard that supports SLI/Crossfire technology.

5.3. Memory

Memory is a computer system’s primary storage space for data and programs. You’ll want to make sure you get enough memory to run all of your applications. Make sure you look for DDR4 SDRAM modules.

5.4. Hard Drive

Hard drives store information and are where your operating system resides. You’ll want to choose a hard drive that offers plenty of capacity. Look for a hard drive that features SATA III 6 Gb/s interface.

5.5. Power Supply Unit

Power supplies convert electricity from AC outlets to DC voltages. They regulate voltage levels and provide clean power to your components. Be sure to pick a PSU that meets your power requirements.

5.6. Case

Cases protect your equipment and keep it safe from damage. Choose a case that fits your budget and provides ample ventilation.

7. Cooling System

Cooling systems help keep your equipment cool by dissipating excess heat. You’ll want to pick a cooling system that matches your budget and power requirements.

6. Install the OS on the server

After the server is assembled, power it up and install the Operation System selected in Step 3. If you change your mind, check the feasibility before installing any other OS.

7. Configure the OS for the intended business process

Configure the OS for your server need. The Print Server, File Server, Email Server, Proxy Server, etc., will require different configurations, and you may need specialized help. Some steps would require the server to be connected to the network. Connecting to the Network is an important activity, and a network engineer and do this right for you.

8. Choose Server Location

You should choose a location which has proper ventilation and HVAC controls are available.

There should be environmental controls (e.g., Fire detection and suppression) in secured facilities to protect the server. Also Humidity controls, heat detectors and smoke detectors are standard nowadays.

9. Implement Security Controls

By this time, your server should be up and running and can be accessed by other clients on your internal LAN. You need to implement security controls like antivirus, firewall, Role-based access control (RBAC), etc., based on your need.


Optimized business servers are essential for running a successful business. They allow companies to store and process important data like customer details, financial records, and inventory.

Besides security, regulatory compliance is another factor to consider when handling data in transit or at rest. So you should always look to properly size your server and implement the above steps to smooth your business processes. We are one of the best Portland IT Support service providers and can help you achieve your business goals.


Who provides the best IT Support services in Portland for Business Server Setup?

AlwaysOnIT is one of the best server setup service providers in Portland.

Is there AMC provided by Portland IT services providers?

Yes, maintenance contracts are provided. Talk to your provider for more details.

Should I own the server or rent on the cloud?

It depends on the usage and needs. Sometimes cloud can be costly as there are monthly subscription fees, and it may be cheaper to have one of your own with a one-time investment.