Linux is very heavily used here, almost exclusively, except for some remote control operations. Most small businesses could, if they chose, run their entire business on Linux. Linux can run most generalized types of software, including clones of office suites such as LibreOffice or OpenOffice. Linux runs the vast majority of the web, the vast majority of the databases on the web. We recommend Red Hat Enterprise for those clients whose applications demand a *certified* version, or CentOS for those who need enterprise strength but can do their own support.
Virtualzation is a very exciting technology. This is for companies consolidating many servers into one physical unit to save money, power, or space. However, we do not recommend it to clients that don't have some training in virtualization. Dentar, Inc. has experience with VMWare hypervisor and Linux/KVM/libvirt.
Networked Laser Printers
Business printing demands better media than ink. If you want shared printing in your office, workgroup printers with Ethernet jacks are the best way to share the printer in your small office, nearly making the "server" print queue obsolete. We strongly recommend networked laser printers with standardized printer languages built into the printer.
For those whose applications demand the use of Windows, Windows 7 is so far, the best version of the desktop that has been released. All said, this item is relatively speaking, of course. Most specialized dental office applications currently run best with Windows 7. We always, for all desktop products, recommend the "professional" versions of these operating systems and not the "home" versions.
This is one thing that is nice to have without a wire, and since the early 2000s, have come a very long way. They're mostly reliable and people love them. The only downsides are that they're more expensive than wired and batteries are required, but battery life is now much better than it was, and interference between adjacent rooms is a thing of the past.
WiFi is great for surfing the internet, but is isn't well suited for anything heavy such as database related applications. For customers with use heavy traffic, please use Wired 1 gigabit-per-second Ethernet. Wireless gets worse when you have more people on it. Dental offices should not use wireless for any of their dental applications unless their dental equipment vendor only offers such. We recommend these only for lightweight offices only, and -never- without a password or encryption.
Novell Netware is considered a "legacy" product. Any work on any Novell Netware products is done entirely on a best-efforts, time and materials basis and absolutely no warranty applies.
Novell Netware, at one time, had been the most popular and solid networking product on the market, even while PCs and servers were notoriously unreliable. This was during the "set your jumpers for your IRQ" days. Operating systems were loaded off of floppy disks at the time. Novell hardly made it past this stage. By the time everyone was using CD to install their operating systems, Novell's market share had all but disappeared.
SCO (Santa Cruz Operation) UNIX / OpenServer /Xenix
SCO UNIX / OpenServer are also "legacy" products. All work on their products is best-efforts only, and time and materials. A great replacement for this product is Red Hat Linux or CentOS Linux. The company that had been known as SCO, having changed their name to XinuOS, is now a shell company that makes their living litigating.
These things cost a ton of money to print with. If you need to print on photo paper, these are your only choice, sadly. If you're doing regular printouts and a lot of them, a laser printer is going to be a much better choice for a business environment. We will sell an ink printer to a client that asks for it, but with a warning.
This is similar to ink printing, where you have a printer, fax, and scanner in one unit. If the scanning head breaks, you now have just a printer. If the printing quits working, then all you have is a scanner/copier, and send-only fax. These are fine for home use when the volume is low and you need to save space. We have clients of a decade that have been through five of these in one spot.
Some wireless printers do not maintain a reliable connection wirelessly and are not business ready. Because a printer sits in one spot and is not toted from spot to spot, it is a waste of shared air bandwidth to hang a printer on a WiFi connection. Your printer does not need to be wireless for your wireless PCs to print to it, because they go through your network anyway. The only time your printer NEEDS to be wireless is if you cannot otherwise run a cable to it OR you are printing to it with telephones.
DSL style broadband
We've seen a very large amount of customer dissatisfaction with DSL style internet lines, as it relates to cable or fiber. If your internet goes out a lot and you're on DSL, switching to cable may improve it vastly.
If you're still using tape backup, stop, please! Get onto portable USB disks or a SAN / NAS backup of some type. Tapes are obsolete and unreliable.