Server maintenance helps make sure that servers run smoothly and allow your business to function every day. Our server maintenance checklist details the most essential tips to help you keep servers in healthy condition and avoid downtime.
Why is Server Maintenance Important for Businesses?
Servers compute, store, and manage data and systems, allowing computers to exchange data over the internet or within a network. Since it secures communication between computers, it is considered a cybersecurity best practice to maintain servers and keep them running smoothly.
Here are top reasons why you should conduct server maintenance:
- Avoid or minimize server downtime
- Maintain business productivity
- Keep networks secure
- Reduce repair and/or replacement cost
Server Maintenance Checklist for Businesses
Make sure that your servers are well-maintained with this checklist of server maintenance tips from Kital:
1. Verify Backups
Our IT maintenance checklist recommends scheduling backups daily, weekly, or monthly. This time, as part of your server maintenance, double-check server backups.
It is important to make sure that your data is backed up properly and can be restored in case of system failure.
2. Review Disk Usage
Your server’s hard drive is used to store log files, emails, software, and swap files. If disk usage exceeds 90 percent, your server’s disk may not perform as well as it should. Your server may slow down or start freezing up.
To avoid a server crash or freezing, periodically declutter old logs or unused software from the hard drive. Anything you don’t need, remove. Alternatively, if old logs are necessary for your company, consider keeping them in external storage.
Try to maintain 20 to 30 percent of free disk storage for optimal performance.
3. Review Server Resource Usage
Servers can easily fill up with old logs, files, data, emails, and outdated software. However, even top of the line servers like the Dell Server have a storage limit, which when reached will likely cause a server crash.
To keep your server running smoothly, make it part of your routine to monitor your server resource usage. You can do this by reviewing CPU, RAM, and network usage. If utilization is frequently high, consider migrating the server or adding servers or resources.
4. Manage Network Utilization
Server loads also have a maximum capacity, which when reached becomes problematic.
To avoid reaching the point of breakdown, consider using network monitoring tools to see if there is unusual traffic or problematic usage.
Based on your findings, you may decide to install network upgrades to keep up with the traffic, migrate a popular resource to a faster server, or in the case of a data breach, strengthen your cybersecurity.
5. Update Control Panel
The control panel manages servers. You can ensure maximum performance when it is upgraded to the latest version.
However, it needs to be on your checklist for server maintenance because the control panel needs to be updated manually.
6. Check RAID Array
A RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) array copies data into multiple hard drives, allowing faster data recovery in case of drive failure. Most RAID arrays have a monitoring tool that can alert you of potential drive failures.
If this is the case, checking RAID Array periodically can help you prepare for drive failure and minimize downtime.
7. Check Remote Management Tools
Remote management tools — remote console, remote reboot, and rescue mode — let you manage remote servers or dedicated servers. It is best practice to periodically check that these tools are updated and functional so that you can easily use them when necessary.
8. Update Software Applications
Some software applications are automatically updated, but others need to be done manually. You cannot skip software updates because they provide improved security and functions.
While updates offer an improved version of software solutions, it is not always that simple. Most times, the IT team needs to evaluate the authenticity of the updates (since updates are common avenues for hackers) and the compatibility of your operating system with the latest version.
9. Verify Operating System Updates
Operating System (OS) updates also contain enhanced features and enhanced security, which could benefit your organization. However, it is still important to verify these updates for authenticity and compatibility.
Hackers often take advantage of OS updates to attack businesses. They either trick users to install malware through fake OS updates or attack the new OS’s weaknesses before the IT team can patch it. This is why it is important to create a test environment for the new OS before rolling it out to the rest of the organization.
10. Resolve Hardware Errors
Operation systems maintain a log of hardware errors, which IT teams can use to detect various issues and address them before they escalate.
This is one of the most underrated server maintenance best practices because it can be the key to preventing major issues.
11. Assess Overall Server Security
Businesses cannot afford to be complacent when it comes to cybersecurity. Schedule a time to assess your overall sever security to see if it is still up to date against current cyber threats.
Consider using a penetration testing tool to ensure that you don’t overlook any minor detail that could compromise your company’s security.
12. Review Password Security
User password is one of the most challenging vulnerabilities for businesses. You need to ensure that employees follow good password hygiene to help protect your network.
Make it part of your routine to re-assess your password policy and remind your employees to use strong passwords and change them regularly.
13. Evaluate User Accounts
Cyber attackers find new and creative ways to infiltrate a business’s system, so businesses cannot overlook even the smallest details.
Consider also reviewing your user account list to avoid unauthorized access. Remove accounts that are no longer necessary and update account permissions.
14. Review Server Logs
Another best practice that can help you prevent major issues is reviewing server logs.
Server logs show you access logs and errors on the server. By consistently reviewing server logs, you become more familiar with the patterns.
This can allow you to identify hardware issues and unauthorized access or usage of your server. As always, early detection and response helps minimize the negative impact.
15. Clean Hardware
When dust and debris accumulate on hardware, they can cause overheating and, naturally, slow down your server’s performance. As such it is widely advised for IT teams to regularly inspect hardware and clean them inside and outside to avoid such issues.
Equip Your Business with the Latest Technology
As the leading distributor of servers in the Philippines, Kital knows first-hand the importance of server maintenance. It is the key to ensuring smooth operations, strong cybersecurity, and reduced downtime. Find the right server for your business needs and make sure to follow best practices to maximize their impact on your operations.
To learn more, don’t hesitate to leave us a message.