5 Tips on How to Proactively Maintain Your Server Hardware

Maintaining your server hardware is paramount to the uninterrupted operation of your business. Server hardware is expensive and critical for the ongoing operation of your business, so it’s important to practice proactive maintenance. What does proactive maintenance for server hardware entail? And how do you practice this in a cost-effective way?

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The Basics of Proactively Server Maintenance

Your servers are responsible for keeping your business online in the modern era. It’s not possible to have 100 percent uptime (though you can get very close with proactive strategic planning). That said, since downtime is so incredibly expensive and devastating to your business, it makes sense to maximize uptime however you can.

Server maintenance is one strategy that helps you maintain reasonable uptime. By maintaining the hardware, software, and other aspects of your servers, you can identify and mitigate most issues before they begin to affect your operations. 

In many ways, it’s similar to car maintenance; if you proactively identify that the tread on your tires is wearing down, you can replace your tires before you begin encountering problems with traction or steering. Proactively maintaining your tires is less expensive and simpler than waiting for your tires to fail.

You can utilize services to maintain your server hardware or attempt to practice them with your own internal team. Either way, you’ll need a high-level strategy in place to make sure your servers are being maintained on a regular basis.

The Goals of any Server Hardware Maintenance Strategy are to:

  • Minimize downtime: Downtime can cost your business millions of dollars and ruin your reputation in extreme cases, so it’s worth avoiding at all costs. Proactive server maintenance can help you reduce the possibility and duration of downtime.
  • Improve operations: Operable server hardware performs better. And better-performing servers can lead to improved operations all around.
  • Maximize lifespan: Just as with car maintenance, server maintenance is about maximizing the lifespan of your machines. If you clean and inspect your server hardware regularly, it’s going to last longer, providing more of a return on your investment.

Server Maintenance Areas

A comprehensive approach to server maintenance should include attention to all of the following:

  1. Hardware: Server hardware refers to the physical devices operating on your business’s behalf. These periodically need to be disassembled, cleaned, and inspect it.
  1. OS and software: Operating systems and software also play an important fundamental role in how your servers operate. In addition to updating your devices regularly, you need to check for potential errors.
  1. Logs: Detailed logs can unveil technical errors and other hiccups that might reveal deeper problems. It’s important to check these logs regularly.
  1. User access: You’ll also need to maintain user access. If unauthorized users, such as recently terminated employees, have access to your servers, it could present a security risk.

Elements of Server Hardware Maintenance

Speaking to server hardware maintenance, specifically, these are the most important elements that need to be part of your strategy:

Dust and debris

Servers can get dusty, even in clean and well-maintained environments. Dusty or unclean servers are associated with numerous problems, such as reduced performance and the potential for overheating. Additionally, unclean servers suffer more wear and tear over time, ultimately reducing their lifespan.

Temperature, humidity, and airflow

You also need to pay close attention to the temperature, humidity, and airflow of your server room. To maximize performance and maximize uptime, these environmental aspects need to be kept under tight control. It’s hard to overinvest in airflow and cooling.

Storage and backups

Server hardware may come equipped with finite storage, so it’s important to continually monitor storage levels and expand when necessary. If you have backups in place, as you should, you’ll also need to make sure you have redundantly backed up information. Automate your data backups so you don’t have to constantly worry about them – but test your backups regularly to make sure you can restore your systems in the event of a disaster.

Errors

If you review your logs periodically, you’ll eventually encounter indications of a server hardware error. If and when you notice this, it’s important to take preventative action; that could mean replacing, upgrading, or fixing elements of your physical servers.

Physical security

It’s also important to routinely audit and potentially improve the physical security of your server room or data center. We live in a mostly virtualized age, but your servers are still physical pieces of technology that are vulnerable to physical threats. Earthquakes, fires, and man-made forms of destruction can all threaten the integrity of your server hardware; do you have plans in place to mitigate these threats?

Summary

Better, more proactively maintained server hardware can keep your organization safe and maximize uptime, ultimately saving you money and improving productivity. Proactive server hardware maintenance is an investment, but it’s one that pays off for most organizations. 

Even if you never face a significant internal or external threat, you’ll still benefit from better performance and longer hardware lifespans.

Marvel Rick
Marvel Rick

Meet Marvel Rick! A talented copywriter who has a passion for singing. When she is not creating captivating content or singing her heart out, she often finds herself exploring new places or dancing. She is an engaging blogger who effortlessly incorporates her personal interests into her writing.

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