Whether the network supports a small business or a Fortune 500 corporation, server maintenance is vital to keeping data available and a company running efficiently. Server maintenance is generally performed by a network administrator who is either part of a company’s IT department or by an outside firm contracted for network maintenance.
Preventative server maintenance allows administrators to review network performance, find potential security risks, verify backup procedures and confirm the automated monitoring systems are configured correctly and that the necessary utility programs are installed. There are several steps in server maintenance that should become part of a regular maintenance protocol.
- Review all backup logs to ensure they are working correctly. The time to discover that the backup is corrupting data is not when data needs to be restored.
- Servers that use the Windows operating system should be updated weekly with the updates and patches that Microsoft issues to users. Generally released on Tuesday, these updates ensure servers run with the most current software. In the event of a virus or malware, Microsoft issues an immediate patch to protect data. The Windows software includes access to an online log to verify updates are current.
- Updating antivirus software regularly ensures that the server is protected from viruses. Old viruses can mutate and new ones are constantly developed. Antivirus software is frontline security to prevent data loss.
- Reviewing the system event viewer for errors will give advance notice that the server is having difficulty running a program or loading a driver. Better to find out now than before the driver fails.
- The server should continually be checked to confirm there is adequate space for programs, documents and other data loaded on the system. Continuing to partition the drive ensures there is adequate space and prevents the system from slowing down.
- If a RAID array is utilized, check for disk errors. RAID disks need to be placed quickly when they begin to show errors.
- Use the task manager to review RAM usage. Servers need to have free RAM for optimal operation. If RAM is running at 100%, purchase additional RAM.
- Installing an uninterruptable power supply (UPS) will prevent data loss in the event of power outages or brownouts. The UPS allows the system to slowly shut down when engaged, preventing a hard crash and data loss.
A server maintenance plan will incorporate these steps and review the operation of each component of the plan. Taking the time to put these steps in place now can save time and money later and safeguard the network from damage.
Author Bio: Peter Wendt is a blogger interested in computers. If your business is in need of managed IT services in Ottawa, Wendt highly recommends choosing Firewall Technical.