5 Tips To Maintaining Your Own Server Environment

No computer lasts forever, considering changing technologies and business growth. But file and application servers are the heart of your network, and no company can afford to have them fail. Here are some tips for getting the most from the servers you have.

1. Monitor Database Growth

Documenting database sizes is one easy way to ensure your file servers can still provide the level of data transactions you need to keep business flowing. Documenting the size of each data backup can give you a record of just how fast you’re using up your storage. This can help you estimate how much time you have left before you need to add more storage. Larger volumes also mean slower backups if you have only so much time allotted for those.


2. Verify Backups


Verifying backups should be done as part of a regular maintenance schedule. If a file becomes corrupted or a configuration setting was incorrect those backups might be useless, and if a server fails or is compromised all your precious data is gone for good. Regular testing can ensure that a problem is caught before it becomes worse. Corrupted files in your data and applications, and particularly the server OS, could become a huge problem for business continuity.


3. Patches and Updates


You’ve got to keep the firmware and other programs up to date. Make it part of your regular maintenance schedule to check for available patches or updates. This includes any administrative utilities you may rely on. It also means staying up to date on security software such as firewalls and antivirus programs. Be sure to check with a reliable vendor, such as a Hewlett-Packard Enterprise dealer, for hardware/software compatibility issues.


4. Test UPS Devices


These battery backups tend to lose charge capacity over the course of time. If they can’t hold a good charge, they won’t be able to sustain your servers long in the event of a power failure. It’s a good idea to test your UPS devices once or twice a year to make sure they will support all your servers, because sooner or later they’ll have to.


5. Keep it Clean


Apart from physical security you’ve got to worry about physical integrity. DVD drives, lenses, and ports can collect dust and dirt. There is very little space between read/write heads and disks that can easily become contaminated and lead to data errors. Processors also tend to overheat and need fans to cool them; fans are a guaranteed dust collector. Keep all your servers in a completely enclosed location with its own air circulation and a good dust filter in place.Like most IT hardware, servers are improved constantly. But it would be a mistake to assume their 100% reliable. Even if they were, a warranty is useless if you’ve lost precious data or thousands in revenue from lost time. It’s essential that you take a proactive approach to ensure that all servers are able to do the job they were meant for.