A quick review on the Internet confirms that many versions of Server Maintenance Checklists exist. With no disrespect to those Server Maintenance Checklists, we saw the need to take a slightly different approach by compiling a list of what not to do. To us, it’s often as much about the DON’TS as the DO’S when it comes to the health of your server. After interviewing many server IT administrators, we have compiled this list as a result of their personal experiences…and frustrations.
1. Don’t ever minimize the respect that your server deserves.
For most businesses, a down or crashed server translates to a major loss in productivity and a great deal of lost, often unrecoverable, revenue. Approaching ongoing server maintenance and support in a casual manner can very well result in catastrophic consequences.
2. Don’t ignore the physical conditions you ask your server to endure.
Where your server lives is critical to its current and future health. It needs proper ventilation and air flow year-round, requires acceptable humidity levels and should never be subject to water or other liquid leaks. Give it the environment it needs to flourish at maximum efficiency.
3. Don’t just assume your backups are up to par.
Although verifying backups is not required, it is a useful practice. Be sure the backup is intact physically and ensure that all the files in the backup are readable and can be restored. It is essential that you can restore your backup in the event that you need to use it.
4. Don’t turn your hard drive into a catch-all for everything.
The hard drive should not serve as your archival system. Check to see if any old or unwanted software can be removed from your system. This will reduce the strain on your server and limit the potential for security issues.
5. Don’t just update updates or download applications without research.
Updates and new applications can be invaluable. However, before updating software or applications on the server, it would serve you well do to some research to find out the impact an update will have on the server or the user experience. Most will be helpful; unfortunately, a major hiccup could occasionally result.
6. Don’t delay installing security updates after you have validated them.
Important security updates are released on a regular basis to ensure your server is not vulnerable to virus and hackers. Don’t waste time in taking advantage of them. You may also want to check for security updates on the applications installed on the server as well.
7. Don’t minimize ‘the 3 RE’s….Remote Console, Reboot and Rescue.’
If any of your servers utilize remote management tools, it is a good idea to check monthly if the tools are in good working order. The three functions you should check are Remote 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Console, Reboot and Rescue mode. You want to always be confident that these tools are working properly when you need them.
8. Don’t ignore the obvious.
Check all cabling and all connections to ensure that they are are in perfect working order. You would be shocked at how often a simple cabling problem escalates into a major dilemma.
9. Don’t settle for simple easy-to-remember passwords.
Use complex passwords that include numbers, symbols and punctuation. Use a variety of passwords for different accounts or roles. Resist repeating sequences or use personal information.
10. Don’t let any full month go by without checking the use groups and folder shares.
It is critical that only those who should have access do. Allowing unfettered access all too often results in major issues.
11. Don’t take your admin log lightly.
It is imperative that all admin level accesses are logged with date, time and usernames. No exceptions! Guessing who did what when is simple not acceptable.
12. Don’t forget to disable unused services.
Why burden your server for no reason? All too often, we just keep adding on top of what is there.
13. Don’t forget to check that your RAID’s error notification system is configured and functions as expected.
This is especially important as most RAID levels tolerate only a single disk failure. A RAID failure can jeopardize the integrity of the data. There are 3rd party businesses that can assist in monitoring your RAID status.
14. Don’t go another minute without a plan in place that can be immediately implemented in case of an unexpected crash.
Waiting until your server is down is beyond unacceptable; it could threaten your company’s very existence. Is your warranty still valid?
15. Do not forget the alternatives that third-party support and warranty providers offer.
You very likely could save an incredible amount of money (up to 70%) utilizing their support instead of the OEM. You’ll be glad you did.
Service IT Direct | IT Technical Support | www.serviceitdirect.com