Posted 29 January 2011 - 02:17 PM
Server in and of itself can do all of theings you mentioned and then some. Of course it will do file storage, allow remote access to the network, and provide a measure of control to who can do what on the network. You could also host your own public web site if you wanted or do a intranet one (just for the school) to post calender of events, lunch menus, sporting events ,and whatever else you wanted. You could serve applications that many of the staff and teachers use from a central location so data is automatically on the server (think grading software, progress notes, ect.) Plus with some of the numerous server software available like SQL, Exchange, Sharepoint, and other you can do lots more. That doesn't even begin to touch on the third party software abilities. so you see it isn't what server can do for you it is how do you want to use it.
The downside to running a server/client enviroment is added costs for server level antivirus, possibly upgrading your internet bandwidth, added cost of training/hiring IT staff to maintain and fix issues as they arise, and of course the intial cost can be a little shocking for some. Also without knowing how old your school is and what kind of network, if any, you have in place there may be signifigant upgrades required to the infrastructure on site as well.
My advice if you are seriously in the market to do this is find a few vendors that have or still work with other school environments. Give them some ideas of what you would want and tell them to fill in with some alternate pricing for other options that they have performed for other schools and how these would benefit your school.
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.