Organizations rely on IT more than ever in the digital age. Server administration is the cornerstone of numerous IT tasks, such as data storage, website hosting, emails, and software. Most IT functions would cease to exist in the absence of dependable, efficient servers.
Many companies have moved their internal IT to cloud services employing servers in distant data centres, while a sizable portion still utilize internal servers or operate in a hybrid environment of internal and external services. No matter where it is, operating a server requires keeping an eye on and keeping up with its hardware, software, security, and backups.
What is Server Management?
All the monitoring and upkeep necessary for servers to run dependably and at peak performance levels is included in server administration. To keep the IT infrastructure functional and effective, this includes managing hardware, software, security, and backups.
The following are the main goals of server management:
- Maximize dependability by reducing server lag and downtime.
- Protect and safeguard server environments.
- Scale servers and associated processes to the organization’s demands over time.
Basics of Server Management
Server management has a substantial overall impact on IT, with its scope acting as a broad awning that covers almost everything the division does. Let’s examine some of the intricacies contained inside this all-encompassing idea in more detail:
We have the hardware, which is the basis for efficient server management. Everything is reliant on hardware that works. As part of any server management strategy, the following crucial hardware components should be continuously monitored and managed:
CPU, or central processing unit
The CPU, which functions as a server’s “brain,” makes all the calculations necessary for programs to run. CPUs must be closely watched because they are not only necessary but also heavily used. If they are overworked, this can cause everything from slower operations to entire system breakdowns. There are numerous strategies to deal with a CPU that is overworked. The most obvious solution is to upgrade, but you can also add more CPU resources from another asset, stop activities that use a lot of resources, or optimize system efficiency to lessen the burden on the CPU.
Temp of the CPU
Because of all that labor, CPUs become overheated. Because servers generally generate a lot of heat, server farms are occasionally constructed in chilly places (even below ground or underwater). Too much heat from the CPU can lead to catastrophic failure.
Cooling systems and thermometers are included into servers to make server management, even from a distance, simpler. An IT professional can shut down the hardware and evaluate the problem if a server’s temperature rises too much before the heat becomes dangerously high. Problems with overheating are frequently brought either by excessive system stress or malfunctioning cooling equipment.
RAM: Random Access Memory
Working memory (RAM) is the temporary storage used for quick operations and caching on servers. RAM and system performance are directly related, particularly when using software that has a high demand. Running out of RAM when using a computer can affect performance and even prevent some applications from starting.
The server’s hard drive or hard disks offer permanent storage. Since hard drives are frequently used for caching as well as storing important data, they might cause performance problems when they are close to capacity.
Monitoring hard drive usage is necessary to ensure that there is always the necessary amount of storage capacity available. To avoid expensive failures that result in data loss, the health of the hard disk should also be regularly monitored.
Keep the server in an area with ideal environmental conditions. Controlling humidity is important, and the server room should have adequate cooling. Servers should only be accessible to authorized users for security reasons.
Software is also necessary for the operation of your IT infrastructure. As a result, software should undergo routine maintenance and be constantly monitored. It is simpler to spot performance problems and carry out troubleshooting when you are aware of the software used in your IT environment.
To maintain a safe network from the inside out, server management should focus on security, which is a major problem in all facets of IT. Although security rules vary based on the company, there are a few common factors to consider for most use cases:
- Keeping up with all software and firmware upgrades (and, if possible, utilizing a patch management tool)
- Putting in place and maintaining antiviral software
- To block unwanted network traffic, install and configure firewalls.
- Establish a password policy and access restrictions.
- Encrypting critical data in transport and storage
- Putting SIEM technologies, logs, and SOC monitoring into practice
- Include the tools and methods required by security best practices and any applicable compliance requirements.
Regular backups and backup testing are a crucial issue for security and business continuity. Most enterprises can be destroyed by data loss caused by a disaster or a ransomware attack; in these cases, thorough server backups and a reliable backup solution can rescue the day. To support both physical and virtual servers, backup options include local, cloud, and server backup software.
Here, backup management is a crucial factor to consider. Backups must not only be appropriately configured for the use case, but they must also undergo frequent testing to guarantee functionality before being used. A multi-tenant solution with a single interface for simple management is required for an IT professional that needs to handle backups for numerous distinct clients and workstations across multiple networks, such as a managed service provider.
To prevent data loss after a power outage, the server’s power source should also include a standby. Uninterruptible power supply (USPs) with integrated surge protection, power conditioning, and emergency power that can keep the server working for a brief period during an outage are just a few of the solutions available for this role.
Also Read: What is BSSID?
What About Virtual Servers?
Modern IT frequently uses virtualization, which has its own set of considerations. A virtual server enables the hosting of several servers on a single machine, whereas a physical server typically runs one instance on a single piece of hardware.
You can use virtual servers, also known as virtual machines (VM), to accomplish more with less hardware. The IT industry loves convenience, but managing virtual environments might be a little trickier than managing real servers. Nevertheless, virtual servers are managed according to the same management concepts as conventional servers.
Internal Versus External Server Management
There are a few options available to organizations for server management. Not every company needs (or has the funds for) an internal team to maintain their servers and IT infrastructure.
Internal management offers the benefit of comprehensive control over your server environments if staffing or cost aren’t a concern. It’s crucial that your own IT team has the appropriate equipment for managing servers if they will be doing so. System administrators have access to a variety of technologies that provide capabilities like automation, alerting, and reporting to make their jobs simpler to manage.
Many of these crucial features can be provided by RMM Software and ticketing system technologies, which also enable remote server interaction and maintenance for your team. This skill is practically necessary for huge businesses.
External server administration is an option for organizations that don’t want to handle their servers internally. They can delegate the duty of server monitoring and maintenance to contracted professionals by partnering with a managed service provider or other outside IT firm.
IT is essential to the operation of modern enterprises. Professionally monitored and maintained servers are the cornerstone of an IT infrastructure that is dependable and functional. When followed, numerous best practices for managing the hardware and software essential to server operation can assist assure functional, effective technology with little downtime.
There are several technologies available to help with server management, but for businesses without an internal IT department, hiring outside experts can be the best option.
Fazal Hussain is a digital marketer working in the field since 2015. He has worked in different niches of digital marketing, be it SEO, social media marketing, email marketing, PPC, or content marketing. He loves writing about industry trends in technology and entrepreneurship, evaluating them from the different perspectives of industry leaders in the niches. In his leisure time, he loves to hang out with friends, watch movies, and explore new places.