Application Servers

Written by Ivan Gale
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This scenario of growing one's business from a startup to a big company is a happy one that any entrepreneur would likely love to experience. However, there are growing pains with getting big. This is true especially when your existing computer network becomes woefully inadequate to handle the demands of your new, expanded company. When company divisions swell to include dozens of employees in sales, engineering, finance and business development, there needs to be a way for each department to share and manage information in real time.

Pricing Plans Vary for Business Servers

In such a situation, your technical support staff will probably realize the computer network needs to be overhauled and upgraded. Information needs to be centralized so that it can move freely between departments in real-time. Your company may also want to take orders of its product off of its website. But with an inadequate infrastructure, when the web orders start coming in fast, your existing infrastructure may hardly be able to keep up and process all of them.

In both cases, the next logical step for many companies is to purchase a server. Applications servers could be called the brains behind a company's network infrastructure. They help run and manage any online applications that companies operate. These powerful computers often include custom-built software that helps drive virtually any business operation.

There are many options for companies in the market for an application server. When business servers first came into the market, only large corporations could afford to purchase these supercomputers. Many are still designed for large corporations and can fetch as much as half a million dollars per machine.

Operating Systems Vie for Market Dominance

Now, however, there is parity in the computer market. Intense competition has driven down prices. Smaller companies are beginning to be able to afford application server systems. Personalized and scalable software can be purchased along with the server so that your company can designed a software application suited perfectly to the specific needs of your company. Whether you're running an online bookstore, a financial software company or a widget manufacturer, there are software suites that can be suited to your needs.

In fact, even small companies can rent space or capacity in a server with a hosting service. Right now, the choices are greater than never before for IT managers looking to leverage new technology to make their jobs easier and their companies' profits grow.

Top server manufacturers in the industry are using a variety of different programming languages. Linux, the open-source alternative for many personal computer users, is being bundled in some server packages. Oracle, a major player in the server market, employs Java-based systems and continues to churn out many models to choose from. Microsoft is another big player in the field with its .NET products.

Open-Source Software in the Server Market

Some technology companies are bundling Linux-based operating systems and software with technical support services, such as Red Hat. That way, IT managers have access to Linux's affordable, open-sourced operating systems. However, if and when their server runs into problems, they still have a company they can turn to for tech support.

The Internet has continued to become an even bigger marketplace for computer products. IT managers seldom have to venture to a computer store to purchase parts or software for their company's IT infrastructure. It is not surprising, then, that server retailers have taken to the Web to sell their products. Any type of server can be found online along with bundled services like customized software and customer service.

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