Server maintenance is process of keeping a server software updated and running so that a computer network can operate smoothly and avoid downtime or loss of data. Regular maintenance will keep the server running as expected and will help avoid a total or partial network failure. It includes tasks like reviewing the server’s performance, ensuring that automated system monitoring utilities are properly installed and configured, identifying potential security risks and backing up data at regular intervals.
If you know how to maintain your server, with just a little time, you can get the most performance for your investment and significantly extend it’s life. Servers can be maintained easily to reduce server outages.
How Servers Work:
A server is a standalone computer that provides data and other services to one or several other computers on a given network. The main benefit to a server is that it allows centralized management and monitoring of network access and network data, and servers can have power, hard drive and processor redundancies that are typically not available in a PC.
Types of Servers:
File Server: A central storage for files, which can be accessed by client computers
Domain Controller: A server that responds to security authentication requests (logging in, checking permissions, etc.) within the network. A domain is a concept where a user may be granted access to a number of files, folders, network locations with the use of a single username and password combination and can prevent certain users from accessing other private files.
Remote Desktop (Terminal) Server: A Remote Desktop Server (or Terminal Server) provides secure remote access to office and line of business applications to employees or contractors from one centralized server, instead of having each client computer running software. This makes deploying software and adding more employees very scalable and cost-effective.
Web Server: Stores and shares websites over the Internet; many individuals and small companies rent web server space from other companies, but for large companies that experience a lot of traffic, a dedicated web server makes sense.
Server Maintenance Generally Requires The Following:
- checking server log files
- assessing hard disk space
- examining folder permissions
- monitoring network temperature applications
- ensuring adequate redundancy of systems
- examining security features
- installing security software patches
- reading server logs for security alerts or evidence of computer hacking attempts
- updating antivirus software on all computers on the network
- updating critical service packs and software updates
- performing regular comprehensive back-ups to ensure that vital data can be retrieved from storage in the event of a system failure
Server Maintenance Steps To Success:
1. Verify your backups are working.
Before making any changes to your server database and system, be sure that you have to take a backup before doing any update and your backups are working fine. Make certain that you have selected the right backup and right location.
2. Check disk usage.
Keep your disk storage clean and don’t use your server system as an archival system. Delete old emails, logs and s/w versions that are not in use. A smaller data footprint means faster recovery. Keep an eye on your disk usages if your partition reaches 100 percent, you server may stop working and database tables and data may be corrupt and lost.
3. Monitor RAID Alarms.
Monitor your RAID status; all servers should use RAID. A single disk failure can cause a complete system failure.
4. Update Your OS.
Always update your system if you are using Linux because such OS release frequently update and staying on top of these updates can be difficult. To overcome this problem, you can use automated patch management tools and have monitoring in place to alert when a system is out of date. If you are updating your server manually (or not at all), you may miss important security updates. If you cannot automate your updates, then create a schedule to update your system. This will prevent your system from hacks.
5. Update your Control Panel.
If you are using a hosting cpanel be sure to update it as well. This will make your system up to date and fix any known issue related to hosting.
6. Check application updates.
Update your web applications, if you are using CMS or any open source program for you web application especially popular programs like WordPress.
7. Check remote management tools.
Maintain your remote server via remote console, remote reboot and remote rescue mode these are essential tools for remote server management.
8. Check for hardware errors.
Hardware problems are common but create a big issue, so you may review the log for any hardware problems like disk read error, network failure.
9. Check server utilization.
Review your server’s disk, CPU, RAM and network utilization.
10. Review user accounts.
If you have had staff changes, client cancellations or other user changes, you will want to remove these users from your system. Storing old sites and users is both a security and legal risk.
11. Change passwords.
Change any passwords every 6 to 12 months, especially if you have given out passwords to others for maintenance.
12. Check system security.
Periodically review your server’s security using a remote auditing tool such as Nessus.
Hypertec Direct offers a variety of professional services for your server maintenance or purchases.
Ask us today about our nationwide support. For a full list, visit our professional services page.