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Server Maintenance: What to Know, and Where to Start

11 January 2021

Server Maintenance

What is server maintenance?

Server maintenance means exactly what it says on the tin. It’s how you keep your server operating efficiently. This in turn keeps your computer network and website running smoothly. Maintaining a server has been compared to maintaining a car, and there are definite similarities. You need to keep an eye on petrol, oil and water levels to make sure your car stays reliable. Likewise, you need to monitor certain elements of your server so that you can adjust them if necessary. A poorly maintained server can affect a whole network, and that can be bad for business.

Why do you need to do it?

Where servers do differ from cars is when it comes to parts. Apart from replacing the occasional fan, the physical components of your server should give you no trouble. It’s actually the software you need to worry about with regard to server maintenance. Large stores of information can build up over time, including cache files. This can slow a server down, which will affect the efficiency of your whole network. As usage increases, older server settings may become invalid. That could leave your software at risk of attack. When a server is not working properly, computers may run slower and glitches can occur. At worst, data can be corrupted or lost, and that could have a serious financial impact.

Server checklist for common errors

The recommended server replacement schedule is generally 3 to 5 years. But keeping your server regularly maintained could easily extend its life. Use our IT maintenance checklist as a guide to keeping your server in peak condition.

Backups

Always check that your backups are working before making any changes to your system. Test the recovery first if you’re planning to delete anything.

User accounts

Staff changes mean changes to the people using the system. Keeping data on users who have left is a potential legal issue. Remove user data no longer needed.

OS updates

Software updates are key to keeping your server running safely and efficiently. Automated patch management tools are a good way to keep one step ahead. Hackers scan for systems that are vulnerable, so don’t let your guard down by missing an update.

Disk usage

Check your system for anything that’s redundant, like email archives or software versions. This will help to free up the system and reduce the risk of issues with security. Reduce usage if it’s more than 90%, or alternatively add more storage.

Check application updates

Many security issues are related to web applications. Make sure you check for updates, especially for programs that are used a lot.

Hardware errors

Checking recent logs can give a heads-up for any potential issues with hardware. Notes on errors, overheating etc are often an indication that something is about to fail. Use this check if your system has not been performing at optimum level.

To find out how Equipment HQ can help with regular server maintenance and benefit your IT infrastructure, why not give us a call today.

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