Server Preventive Maintenance Checklist

by Rod Dunne on February 22, 2011

in Hardware, Performance

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Using a server preventive maintenance checklist can help safeguard your systems from viruses, software faults and performance degradation. Here I’ll show you some of the most basic checks you can do a regular basis for your servers for.

  • If you do not already have a backup for your servers then you should consider installing one. Use synchronization software which can help improve the speed up which backups can be made (only copying/cloning changed documents).
  • All servers should regularly be scanned for viruses. This can be automated to run on a daily/nightly basis and the program should also be automatically checked for virus definition updates before running full scams.
  • Getting program updates is something which should be manually done. The concern is that some updates may make software applications unusable. Take down the system and run the various Windows updates application checks for patch updates, device drivers or other critical files.
  • Disk drives and disk performance should also be a key element of your checks. Start by defragmenting the hard disks. Disk read/write performance can degrade severely due to the huge amount of fragmented files being stored on the disk partitions. Disk defragmentation can be scheduled to run when the systems are less busy.
  • Disk performance is also a factor of the enough free space on each drive. This can rapidly become an issue as new files are being constantly created by certain applications (e.g. Web servers). Each operating system can differ on this but it is generally worth having at least 10% the hard drive left free. This will also help virtual memory expand unhindered.
  • An additional check that is always worth doing is checking the BIOS settings for CPU temperatures and fan speeds to make sure they’re not overheating. Keep all air vents and air inlets clear of dust and make sure internal components are not getting too hot.

Any server preventive maintenance checklist is only useful if it is performed on a regular scheduled basis. Depending on the volume of traffic your systems or receiving then this may needs to be every 2 to 4 weeks.

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