Server maintenance involves the process of keeping a server updated and running so that a computer network can operate smoothly. Properly maintaining a server is usually the task of a network administrator as they administer the Networking (Routers, Switches, Firewall etc.), and it is vital to the performance of the network. If server maintenance is not conducted on a computer network, regardless of whether the network is small or large, application software usually will not run as well as expected. In some cases, a network may even experience total or partial network failure if proper maintenance is not conducted.
Maintaining a server requires a network administrator to conduct preventive maintenance. Essentially, this means that the administrator must review the server’s performance as well as potential security risks and backup protocols at regular intervals. As part of preventative maintenance, an administrator typically ensures that automated system monitoring utilities are installed and appropriately configured. These utilities often come with the server’s hardware package. Even with automated utilities in place, a solid server maintenance plan requires several basic steps. First, the administrator usually conducts a thorough examination of the network, including checking server log files, hard disk space, folder permissions, and redundancy. This review usually also includes monitoring network temperature applications to ensure the server does not get too hot. If a machine overheats, for example, vital equipment like the central processing unit, memory, or motherboard can be impacted.
Security and application functionality should also be examined as part of server maintenance. If required, security patches should be installed on individual computers within the network to ensure data is securely being maintained. The security review should also include reading server logs for evidence of computer hacking attempts or security alerts. In addition, the administrator should ensure that antivirus software is updated on all of the computers in the network.
During server maintenance, any essential service packs and software updates should be made to the network computers. Typically, these items can be installed after working hours so that network user activity is not disturbed. When necessary, a system correction, system restoration, or hardware component replacement may also need to be made.
A server maintenance plan should also include a comprehensive backup plan. In the event of a system failure, the backup data will be vital in helping the network users retrieve their stored information. Depending on what kind of data is stored on a server, it may need to be backed up daily, weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly. A good backup plan should always be tested regularly to ensure that it will meet data recovery requirements.
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