Preventing Server Issues
Server issues are realities that every information technology department and system administrator must deal with. One of the best ways to deal with server issues is to take steps to prevent problems from occurring in the first place. Businesses that implement a comprehensive strategy for server maintenance and protection can expect to experience very few or no issues. Servers will benefit from several preventative actions.
Operating systems, server firmware and other software components are regularly updated by vendors and developers. It is important to install these updates as they become available. This is not always easy since some updates might interfere with proprietary applications and processes. Installing some updates might require disabling or reinstalling some components. Keeping a server updated is one of the best ways to prevent problems.
System and data backups are essential for any business server. These backups should include redundant copies stored in an off-site location. They should also include images of the core systems instead of compressed archives of files. Regular backups will allow servers to be restored to operating condition quickly after an unforeseen event such as a lighting strike or hardware malfunction.
The employees in a business can be a major source of server issues. Some employees might attempt to use the system to perform damaging personal tasks. Others might be using the system incorrectly resulting in constant errors. Strict internal policies about server use and processes will prevent employees from triggering problems. Using scripts or software to record terminal session data will help with enforcement of these policies and can reveal weaknesses in the system.
All modern servers need to implement extensive security measures in order to prevent issues caused by unauthorized actions and hackers. Security must be implemented across all systems and in a variety of ways. Passwords should be changed regularly and should be tied to specific employees instead of departments. Each server should be tested periodically to ensure that the security measures are working correctly.
Disable Unused Services
Unused services that run as part of the core operating system or under peripheral components should be disabled whenever possible. An unused service or process will draw away valuable resources such as memory and processing power. Problems can occur with unused services because they might be capturing events or generating unexpected system actions. These unexpected actions can cause conflicts and other problems with critical software components. Disabling and potentially completely removing these services will make the server more stable.
Complete server or security audits should be performed more than one time each year. An audit takes a long time to complete although it will present the most accurate picture of the server. The audit will reveal areas that might have been overlooked or forgotten. It will reveal security holes and internal issues that are affecting performance and generating errors. A complete audit is one of the most basic ways to prevent server issues.