Your business should have a server maintenance plan that outlines any tasks to be completed daily, weekly, monthly and in real-time. This is to prevent any data loss, downtime, or extra time and money cost to the business. In this blog, you will learn what regular server maintenance involves, who is responsible for performing the tasks, and how it can keep your business running smoothly.
So why do servers need maintenance? Without frequently performing server maintenance, servers will run slowly, experience more downtime and can result in loss of data. This can be costly in both time and money for your business as downtime removes the ability to access your work.
Read on to find out the essential steps for daily, weekly and monthly server maintenance and why they are important for your business to run effectively.
Why is Server Maintenance So Important?
Servers need maintenance to ensure that they run smoothly, to identify any issues, and to fix them before it results in downtime, data loss or connectivity issues. If you use an external server provider, they should run regular maintenance checks, saving you time and money. Alternatively, in-house network administrators provide a readily available solution to any problems and dedicate their whole time to your network.
One important aspect of server maintenance is backing-up data, meaning that it is easily accessible should there be any loss. As a business, you are responsible for any data you have in your possession. You must abide by GDPR laws, including being able to produce, delete or update the data on request from the original owner. Server maintenance also keeps the system updated to protect against cyber attacks.
There should be an appointed network administrator, either internally in your business’ IT department or part of the external service provider. Network administrators will have master access credentials that allows them to have full access to the system. As they are experts in their field, they can best advise the business on any software, hardware or updates needed to keep work running smoothly.
Why is Physical Server Maintenance Important?
Physical server maintenance is just as important as cyber server maintenance. If the room has high foot traffic due to there being other important systems in the building, dust, dirt and debris can clog up the server. This can become dangerous as servers generally run at high temperatures for 24 hours a day, over several years. As with any system, these physical problems mean the server will not run smoothly and at full capacity.
What is a Server Maintenance Plan?
A server maintenance plan ensures that your business keeps up to date with regular checks, updates and data protection. Although the main responsibility lies with the network administrator, all staff that use the systems attached to the server must be aware of how they can maintain and protect their devices from cyber attacks and damage.
Introducing a plan into the business ensures that no aspect of the server maintenance is missed and everyone follows the same steps for consistency. Including a checklist within the plan that is dated and documented provides physical proof that the server is being regularly maintained where necessary. The server maintenance plan should be updated regularly to keep up to date with constantly evolving technology and cyber attack techniques.
Here is our recommended checklist for server maintenance, you may find that you need to add more items with technological advancements:
- Check the server log files
- Check how much hard disk space is being used
- Check folder permissions to make sure only the people who need access have access
- Monitor network temperature applications
- Ensure adequate redundancy of systems
- Examine security features
- Install security software patches and updates
- Read server logs for security alerts or evidence of computer hacking attempts and remove users where necessary
- Update antivirus software on all computers across the network
- Updating critical service packs and software updates
- Perform regular back-ups to ensure that vital data can be recovered in the event of a system failure
How Often Do Servers Need Maintenance?
There are a number of different daily, weekly and monthly checks that are essential to keeping the server running efficiently. If your role is network administrator, here are the essential checks for server maintenance:
Daily Server Maintenance
The most obvious daily maintenance task is to check for updates on any software or hardware being used by the business. This includes virus scanners and any other security measures that help to protect your server against attack and data loss. Checking your security logs will identify any potential threats from individual users, allowing you to block them before they try again.
Weekly Server Maintenance
Weekly checking of your data backups is an essential part of your server maintenance plan. You must be able to produce, update or remove any data that is in your possession upon the request of the original owner, in compliance with GDPR laws. You should also check your disk usage to ensure that the limit is not exceeded or getting close. Removing outdated files or accounts that have not been used for the last few months can help to reduce disk space usage.
Monthly Server Maintenance
Your database should be optimised every couple of months to improve overall performance of applications and the system as a whole. Database fragmentation helps you decide where your data is stored at the table level. Monthly server maintenance can also include physical checks such as removing dirt, debris and dust and checking that the server is not overheating too much.
Real-Time Server Maintenance
On top of the standard server maintenance procedures above, there are tasks that should be performed in real-time. Noticing and resolving problems as they appear could be the difference between your company running smoothly and losing a few hours worth of work and money due to downtime. Other tasks for network administrators should include keeping up to date with evolving technologies so you are aware of how to solve issues.
Server Maintenance at 777 Networks
At 777 Networks, we understand the importance of keeping your business running smoothly. Consider how much your systems being down will cost your business, and if you have the capabilities in-house to get them back up and running. Our IT management and an IT support plan can help you stay on top of the latest technology, and resolve issues before they have a chance to impact the day-to-day operations of your business.