Server Management Overview
Servers are often referred to as the “brains” of an IT infrastructure. While they are critical to an organization’s technological functions, they can be difficult to maintain. This article explores what server management means and how outsourcing server management services can be beneficial for growing businesses.
What is a Server?
The term server references either a physical, virtual, or hybrid machine that delivers data to a client who requests it. There are different types of servers including application servers, web servers, database servers, virtual servers, proxy servers, and more.
A server can be a combination of a virtual machine, hardware, software or just software performing server services. Depending on its components, a server can have varying functionality.
What Does Server Management Mean?
At its foundation, effective server management means executing a process that keeps your server or network of servers healthy. This process includes monitoring and maintaining the servers for peak performance. The goal of server maintenance is to minimize downtime, build secure server environments, and evolve the server network with the fluctuating needs of a business.
How do You Manage a Server?
Since most IT functions depend on a high-performing server, proper management is essential to core business functions. Servers are complex to manage but there are four essential components of server management to keep in mind:
The server operating system is a key piece of the server. It is important to understand the server’s unique operating system dependencies to easily troubleshoot issues. Applications need to be managed by regularly updating existing software, firmware, and operating systems. Additionally, applications running on the server need to be monitored by tracking status, uptime, and recurring issues.
Security is always a primary concern when it comes to effective server management. Cybercriminals will look for vulnerabilities in a server to infiltrate an organization’s network. To properly secure a server, consider the following:
- Only Install Required Applications
- Delete Old User Accounts
- Update Default Passwords
- Patch Vulnerabilities
- Limit Number of Admin Accounts
- Regularly Review Logs for Suspicious Activity
- Utilize Data Encryption Protocols
- Enforce Access Controls
These items cover general security best practices for server management. It is advisable to create a security checklist designed specifically for your server environment.
Monitoring hardware health is essential to overall business productivity. If a server relies on physical hardware, then all systems and operations that rely on the server will become inaccessible if the hardware malfunctions.
The hardware might be threatened by common server issues such as high temperature, voltage peaks/ drops, fan failure, and more. When considering hardware health, there are three primary components:
Central Processing Unit (CPU)
The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is the server’s core accessory. Working closely with memory, CPU systematically processes microcode to execute the basic functions of a computing system. The CPU can become overtaxed if it runs close to 100% utilization for too long. To manage the CPU, it is crucial to upgrade the chip, add more units, and/or remove unnecessary applications.
Random Access Memory (RAM)
Random Access Memory (RAM) serves as the primary memory function for the server. RAM keeps pace with the central processor’s speed and volatility. A server with more RAM is optimized for peak performance. To manage RAM, keep an eye on utilization and understand when it is time to ramp up (add more RAM).
The hard drive is a server’s permanent storage. As TechTarget explains, the hard drive functions by “spinning up to 15,000 rotations per minute, and different motor heads control the read/ write heads as they transcribe and translate information to and from each platter – converting electronic 1s and 0s into magnetic patterns”. It is imperative to keep an eye on hard drive performance to understand when they are nearing capacity.
The final piece of server management is backups. The threat of losing critical data in the event of a natural disaster or other emergency situations can be mitigated through a server backup solution. There are many tools available that can automate server backups.
Outsourcing Server Management
Effective server management is a critical undertaking. If an in-house managed server becomes overwhelming for your staff, consider outsourcing some (or all) of your Server Management needs.
At NOYNIM IT Solutions, we are here to help your organization maintain a secure, reliable, and healthy IT environment. We understand that managing a server can be tricky, that is why server management is one of our core service offerings & competencies.
Clients often come to us seeking assistance with:
- Backups & Disaster Recovery
- Storage Utilization
- Updating Software Applications
- Optimizing Server Resource Utilization
- Verifying Network Utilizations
- Verifying & Administering Operating System Updates
- Reviewing Password Policies
- Auditing User Accounts & Permissions
- General Server Support Issues
- And More
We pride ourselves on hiring certified IT experts who are masters in the different components of server management. Our team has in-depth knowledge of the procurement, installation, deployment, management, maintenance, and migration processes that effective server management requires.
Our team leverages the best enterprise-grade automation tools paired with experienced IT personnel to optimally manage our client’s server environments. We believe server management boils down to health, performance, reliability, and security.
We offer professional services for physical, virtual, and hybrid environments. All three require a high level of administration to operate at an optimal level. Some of our server management services include:
- OS patching
- And More
If you are interested in learning more about our server management solutions, please contact us. Our certified IT experts stand ready to answer questions about your server infrastructure. We offer server management services to Denver businesses as well as Colorado Springs, Fort Collins Boulder, and nationwide.