Your business operations are only as good as the tools you use to keep everything going. All it takes is for one thing to go wrong for many systems and functions to be affected. If that “one thing” is your network server, though, your entire business can come to an abrupt stop until the issue is fixed.
It’s hard to get anything done when you can’t access your network or don’t trust that the project you’re working on is going to get saved. Server issues affect everything from sales functions and customer service interactions to internal communications and data protection.
As such, the best way to protect your company’s interests is to protect your server.
Here are 10 server maintenance tips to ensure your operations and private data are safe and secure.
1. Always Have a Back-Up
Before you get into any maintenance needs and server updates, you need to make sure that everything on your server is backed up. Backing up your data means that you’ll always have access to it even if your server does go on the fritz. It’s essential to storing private internal information and maintaining the integrity of your agreements with customers.
If you haven’t checked your backup functions in a while, you should give them a test. It’s not enough just to have this tool in place if you’re not certain that it’s working as expected. Running regular backup tests and even trying to retrieve data you do want to delete can give you all the detailed information you need about this aspect of server maintenance.
2. Invest in Top-Notch Server Security
Failure to back up your information is just one way that data can get lost. You also have to beware of people who are trying to hack into your network. These may be through targeted attacks, but you could also fall susceptible to random bits of malware floating around cyberspace.
This is why server security is so important, which can be broken into two main categories. The first is to implement security software and invest in tools that will keep malware from affecting your business. The second is to train your team about network security and the individual responsibility each person has to keep everything safe.
3. Test and Update Remote Management Systems
Speaking of each person’s responsibility, do you have any remote workers? Is there a second office in addition to your main headquarters that your network server supports?
If so, you have to test and update your remote management systems. Otherwise, you risk running into a scenario when the main network is working fine but remote issues start popping up. Such issues can affect the entire company’s workflow and they could lead to server problems at your headquarters, too.
Before you know it, one remote server problem is backing up the schedule of entire departments, putting sensitive pieces of information at risk, and more. But, you can prevent all of this by giving your remote management systems the same level of care and attention as your main network server.
4. Update the Server’s Operating System Whenever Possible
Just as you need to upgrade remote management operations, you should invest in network server upgrades whenever you can. Don’t hesitate to buy the new model of a server or at least to upgrade the software it operates on whenever these improvements become available.
Although some upgrades may require a big investment, the returns they offer are well worth it. It’s much better to purchase new and improved software than to risk losing data and productivity due to a faulty server. Not to mention, you’ll end up spending more in the long run if you don’t invest in upgrades as they’re available.
5. Make Sure You’re Within the Server’s Limits
To be within the server’s limits means to operate within its performance functions. This works just like any other device’s storage capacities. You need to monitor the server’s disk, CPU, RAM, and network utilization and make sure you’re not going over on any limits.
More so, you should try to avoid having one aspect of the server take up the majority of its capacity. If RAM or network utilization, for example, is what most of the server’s energy is directed towards, it may be time to buy a new server or change some of your operations.
6. Install New and Improved Web Applications
In addition to changing server operations, it’s also a good idea to install new web applications. This helps each computer on your server network to operate as fast and efficiently as possible.
It keeps your server working at top condition because outdated web applications can slow down the network and create bugs in the system. When you make a regular effort to install upgrades, though, you ensure that all aspects of your network – server, software, connected devices, and all – are running at full speed.
7. Clean Out Old User Accounts
While you’re installing new software and making upgrades to your network operations, be sure that you’re cleaning out old pieces of information, too.
Have a few team members left the business in the past quarter? Did you have a few clients cancel their subscriptions or change over to new accounts?
These are just a few examples of the data that is no longer serving you. Other pieces of data worth getting rid of include outdated files such as market research and past proposals.
These are all holding up your server by taking up unnecessary space and slowing down how fast the network works. Some are even putting your network security in danger – which is the case with old passwords on old accounts and current ones alike. Make sure you’re regularly updating network passwords to keep things running smoothly.
8. Check for Hardware Issues
Cleaning out the data and information stored on the inside is just the first step of cleaning your entire server. You should also make it a habit to wipe away dust and debris.
Although most servers have big fans to keep them cool and running well, it’s still possible for things to collect on the hardware. If you allow this to build up, your entire network can crash.
Plus, regular cleaning gives you the chance to check for hardware issues like a faulty wire or a loose screw. These may seem like minor issues, but they can cause big problems in your network if they’re not attended to immediately.
9. Beware of Water and Fire Hazards
Another thing to look for while checking over your server’s hardware is the presence of any water or fire hazards. Your server should always be in a cool, dry space, which is best maintained with dedicated thermal management.
This system runs separately from your office’s HVAC unit. It ensures that the server room is at a constant temperature regardless of what the setting is on the office-wide AC or if the main system has been turned off entirely.
In addition to dedicated thermal management, it’s good to learn more about server cabinets available for your hardware and water safety practices, too.
10. Consider Making Better Use of the Cloud
The final server maintenance tip to keep in mind is that your server doesn’t have to do everything on its own! Some operations are better off being put on the cloud rather than leaving on your network server.
It will take you some time to identify what can be moved and complete the transition from a private server to cloud functions, but it’s a process worth doing. You may find you can actually save money and improve your operations as a whole.
It all depends on how you set up your cloud and the way you maintain your servers, though. These tools have to work hand in hand in order to create the best results.
Server Maintenance Made Simple
Here’s one more server maintenance tip to help you keep your network secure and running well: hire a professional!
You don’t have to bend over backward to maintain your server if you just find someone to take this on for you. This eliminates the need to learn about things like RAM and network usage, and it allows you to better focus on other aspects of your business.
When you hire someone to maintain your server, you’re really investing in the peace of mind that your network is in good hands. You’re creating opportunities to invest more energy into the aspects of the business that you work best in, while also ensuring that everything else is taken care of.
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