The leading supplier of IT solutions, support and connectivity to the freight industry have been providing hosted servers for more than 10 years and continue to see an increased uptake by their customers of public and private cloud solutions. Significant growth in hosted servers from the freight industry is expected. It’s clear that Microsoft’s direction of travel is from on-premise to cloud provision of servers, and all business owners should carefully consider the benefits of hosted solutions when considering investment in or renewal of their current IT provision. The increased reliability and scalability of hosted servers offer better flexibility and the ability to better control costs. The lower CapEx costs of hosted servers are attractive to startups and corporate businesses alike. Making the most of physical hardware resources by splitting out roles and applications to virtual servers is now the industry-wide standard. The next logical step must be to get that physical hardware out of the office and let someone else worry about the electricity and cooling bills! A “hosted solution” can be email, file storage, or any other Line of Business (LoB) application. Some application providers don’t offer hosted versions but that doesn’t mean there are no options for the provision of a hosted server using that application. A “hosted server” simply means a virtual server that exists on dedicated or shared physical hardware. These virtual servers exist to provide one or more LoB applications to customers. The physical hardware upon which the virtual servers are run is under the ownership of a provider. The physical hardware will exist at a location with good physical security, a provision for maintaining the airflow needed to run the hardware reliably, and with a focus on stability and resilience of power and Internet connectivity. The Windows server operating system allows remote connectivity by users to a session on a hosted server. The remote environment that runs the combination of LoB applications and hosted solutions is built and supported for the customer by a provider. A hosted server can be expanded from one or more LoB applications to include Microsoft Office applications and would then exist as a full remote working environment for the users. Freight industry customers requiring connectivity to CHIEF for customs declarations can trust in Albacore’s decades of experience in the provision and support of those links within a hosted server. Once businesses grasp the advantages of having a consistent remote working environment with all their applications, connectivity and customizations in one place a hosted server makes a lot of sense – here are some of the many advantages: \tMoving customer premises is easier because server hardware doesn’t need to move \tRemote access is built in, allowing selected employees to work from home \tExpensive and disruptive server hardware renewals and upgrades are generally built in to a solution \tExpansion of the system in terms of branches or hardware expansion can be as simple as agreeing the charges and restarting the servers. \tHosted servers provide cost-effective security benefits to businesses through the rollout of tighter security policy on the network. \tCompany data is more easily retained on a hosted server than a traditional client/server network \tFiles stored on the hosted platform can be synced to local computers for offline access \tIt’s easier for users to print reports, including specialist documents, to a connected branch office or warehouse facility \tUsers can work in the environment they are used to from any branch office or any Internet connected location. This provides flexibility and business continuity benefits to the business \tHosted systems run on enterprise level server hardware that is more reliable, and there is generally resilience in server hardware within the facility that creates fault tolerance and increases availability of the hosted servers. Once the decision to move to a hosted solution has been taken, it’s critical to make the right choice for the provider of that solution. The provider makes all the difference in terms of the deployment, scalability, ease of migration and level of ongoing support. It’s the provider that ensures a hosted server can enable the seamless integration of servers, LOB applications, external connectivity and hosted solutions to provide increases in business efficiency.