ComTech: IT Support Stirling

What is the most critical piece of hardware within your business?

ComTech: IT Support Stirling

I had a meeting with a local company yesterday and as part of that meeting was a review of the systems they already had in place. So all the desktops, servers, routers, printers, routers and switches were all documented and then I asked the client “what do you think is the most critical piece of hardware within your business?” He replied “That’s easy – it has to be my desktop as without it I lose the ability to do any work”.  I disagreed.

I pointed out that the files that he uses on a daily basis were infact not on his desktop but stored on the server and then shared across the network.  If his computer died he could go and purchase another one that day, connect it up the network and retrieve his files without a lot of effort. “Ah but what about my emails?” “They are backed up to the server every night and anyway you have access to webmail”.

So you might be thinking at this point the the server would be the most critical piece of hardware within this business but again I would disagree and I shall explain why.  The setup is as follows:

This particular business has five desktops which all connect to a Windows Server which stores all their files.  The desktops back up their emails (pst file) to the server every night and the server itself is backed up to the cloud.  This means that they have onsite and offsite backups.

So what is the most critcal piece of hardware – their Netgear router!!

If the building burns down or all their equipment is stolen they would still be able to access their data from anywhere with an internet connection.  If the router goes down they lose all capability to use emails and can no longer communicate with the outside world but probably more important is they would not be able to backup their data to an offsite location.

So I think in this case the router is the most critical piece of hardware they have.  What do you think?

About the Author


Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows, Mac and Linux based IT Support to small businesses in Stirling, Alloa and Falkirk.

Follow @Comtech247 on Twitter



2 thoughts on “What is the most critical piece of hardware within your business?

  1. I don’t disagree that a router can be changed more quickly than a server. If the router is down then yes users can still access their existing emails and files on the network however if the server goes down then users can still access their files through the cloud storage and because their emails are hosted online theiy still get access to them too so it is not such a big deal. The company can still operate. If the router goes down then the company loses all contact with the outside world which means no internet and more specifically no emails.

  2. Sorry I wholeheartedly disagree. Router can be replaced within 30 minutes. Try doing that to your server. Secondly without the router they still have access to their local files and existing emails! Based on your logic the switch would be more important than the router, without the router they have no access to the internet but without a switch they don’t have access to anything!

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