In the world of technology, things are always changing. What was once state-of-the-art is now antiquated. This holds true especially for server equipment. Servers that were once considered top of the line are now being pushed out in favor of newer models.
However, this doesn’t mean that your current server has to go obsolete. In the last 3 generations of server, there has not been significant advancement in the chip architecture, or other hardware components. You may find that your servers are more than capable of handling their daily workload.
If that is the case, it would be in your best interest to save the money for projects where your needs have outgrown your equipment and save the server upgrade for a later day.
Preventative maintenance will ensure that your servers continue to perform as expected well into the future. There are ways to extend the life of your server and keep it running at its best.
Here are 5 tips to help you do just that
1) Keep your server clean – This means both physically and logically. Make sure to keep the dust off and check for cable issues regularly. Plan maintenance windows where the server can be powered down, so the server fans and ventilation can be properly inspected and cleaned if necessary. Also, be sure to delete old files and folders that are no longer needed. This doesn’t play into longevity but will impact the server’s performance in the long haul.
2) Ensure that temperatures in the room where your servers and IT equipment are cool and stable. Overheating is a leading cause of server failure. Ensuring proper ventilation, moisture control, and temperature control is essential when it comes to extending the life of your servers, networking, and storage equipment.
3) Physically inspect the servers for failures. Any well-built server will be built with redundancy – two processors, 2+ sticks of RAM, 2+ hard drives (with spares) 2 power supplies, and 2 host bus adapters. These are the components that are most likely to fail. If you leave the servers on autopilot, a failure may go unnoticed. If it is not dealt with before the second failure of the same type occurs, a much larger problem will be on your hands. By physically inspecting the servers, and ensuring you see no red lights, and ensuring that the graphical user interface does not show any failures, you will avoid much larger problems.
4) Hiring a managed service provider or maintenance provider. If you have a small network and don’t have the expertise in house to perform basic trouble shooting on the server and network, it may be in your best interest to look into a small business managed service provider. These providers are the highest level of care, and can handle problems both large and small. Their job extends past maintenance of the systems. A good managed service provider will correctly map your network, set up monitoring tools, configure your firewall, keep your systems updated. These services can range in price, but are generally much less expensive than hiring a server administrator.
5) Creating a backup plan. Too many times organizations have been crippled by poor backup strategies. There are many reasons why you would need a backup strategy. They don’t all include system failures. Sometimes ransomware or other viruses of the sort will take control of your network, and you will need to restore to backups. We have seen cases with malicious employees damaging equipment or stealing data. Here is the good news: There is no downside to creating a backup strategy. We recommend following the 3-2-1 rule: 3 backups total, on 2 different devices, and 1 kept offsite.
While the five tips we’ve outlined in this blog post are a great starting point, they certainly don’t cover everything. For more best practices when it comes to server maintenance and optimization, be sure to check out our website. There you can find articles on topics such as performance analysis, debugging, scaling, and more. And if you still have questions after reading our content or need help implementing any of the advice we’ve shared, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We love working with clients to help them get the most out of their servers and ensure that their applications are always up and running smoothly.