If you’re executing a good deal of programs from your server instead of the cloud, you’re going to have to provide extensive regular maintenance for your server. Even if you don’t have to use your server much, it’s still wise to provide consistent maintenance to keep it operating smoothly.
A preventative approach always reduces more headaches than a reactionary one – and it costs less to do computer server maintenance that way too.
What should you be doing regularly?
There’s more than this, but this list is a starting point:
- Verify you have working backups. You may have all the processes set up and everything looks good. But, do a test recovery a couple times per year – just to make sure your data actually comes back when you need it.
- Examine your disk usage. If you need to store data permanently for legal purposes, it should be located within its own system. Don’t use your regular system to store data you need archived. This could potentially lead to security issues. Also, if you use lesser data, you can recover faster if your disk fails. The rule is this: Once you use 90% of your disk’s capacity, either find old programs and data you don’t need and delete them, or purchase more storage.
- Automate repetitive tasks. Your IT support team should develop a maintenance plan that automates full backups and transaction log backups.
- Know what external sources are available. Are you hiring a third party to handle some of your server maintenance issues? Make sure you know what your internal team is going to do, and what the third parties will handle.
- Don’t schedule routine maintenance on Fridays or before holidays. Sometimes you have emergency maintenance and can’t avoid this, but if you know it’s coming, don’t do your maintenance at these times. If something goes wrong during the maintenance, it can be impossible to get a hold of any additional support resources.
- Fine-tune your data warehouse regularly. You never know how your users will actually use your system at any given point. Because of this reality, you’ll have to periodically review how your data is used and fine-tune the configuration for the best performance possible. Specifically, you should defragment and rebuild indexes when they reach 30% fragmentation, delete dimensional data 1-2 times per year, and clear out unneeded logs and historical data.
While this isn’t a complete guide to computer server maintenance, these tips will get (or keep) your organization going in the right direction.
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Learn more about the author Bob Martin