Server Setup: Sticker Shock for a Small Business
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Server Setup: Sticker Shock for a Small Business

April 4, 2017


A concern that comes up for new and small business owners is how to go about setting up the back-end IT infrastructure you need in this digital age, without eating through all your operating capital. You need e-mail, you need storage space, you need business and communication software, you need it to be regularly backed up and –most of all—you need it to be secure! The problem of course is that not all of us are IT folks. We don’t have the know-how, the time or --let’s be honest-- the money  to build that type of infrastructure. The cost of setting this all up in-house is staggering. Here are a few numbers to get you thinking about what it costs, just to set up and administer a single mail server:

  • Physical Server: $600 - $1,200 for a solid system*

  • Server Operating System: $1,000 - $4,00 depending on how many users you need*

  • Mail Exchange software: $700 - $4,000 depending on number of users*

That means, just to get the server up and running, you’re spending $2,300 - $10,200* and it’s not even working yet! The real costs come in on the configuration/administrative end. The hard costs of running a server only account for 15% - 25% of its actual administrative costs*. That means you can be spending upwards of $10,000 per year on one server and that’s on the conservative side. I don’t even want to talk about some of the pricing I’ve seen IT consulting firms hit my clients with.


So, what’s a small business owner to do? Well, luckily there’s a simple answer and it’s one that I use myself here at ZenTek: switch to Office 365 and let Microsoft handle it all for you! Instead of laying out all that cash and losing productive time struggling to set it up on your own, let the experts handle it for a fraction of the cost. Office 365 is simple to set up and it gives you everything above, plus a ton more, for about $20/user each month. Think about that: you’d need to have 40 full time employees to even approach the costs of implementing a single email server! Not only that, but Office 365 comes with a suite of intelligent business software that you’d have to spend another small fortune to buy and implement separately . . . and yes, that does include the full MS Office Professional Suite. It also comes with OneDrive and SharePoint to handle your server storage needs and many powerful tools you may not even know you desperately need! Your data gets continuously backed up and hosted on some of the most secure data center structures in the world. Not too shabby, huh?


Seriously though, I went this route for ZenTek and I’ve never looked back. I ordered Office 365, set it up, and started using my email and server space in less than two hours. Yes, Office 365 conversions and implementations are something we do here at ZenTek, but if you’re a fair IT hand, you can work through the basics in less than half a day. If the back-end setup is not your strong suit, why not give ZenTek a call and we’ll help you get going? We’re a certified Microsoft Cloud Partner and we can help you purchase the right Office 365 platform for your business needs and get it up and running for you! Just shoot an email to us at:


Jim C.


*How Much Will a Server Cost”, Webopedia

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