In modern times, we cannot think of a life without servers. These are technologically advanced things that work 24 x 7 without any issue. However, just like any machine or human, server maintenance becomes crucial to ensure no additional problems. Whether it is for private use or professional, these are the data processors that are constantly working with us.
Whether in an IT position or managing social media for any company, paying attention to how the service functions is imperative. This will help you understand how to access data through network applications. Once you understand a server’s fundamental working, you can utilize its capabilities through virtual cloud computing platforms or a local network.
With proper server maintenance, you can stay assured that the server will keep running and not show any unexpected errors. This will make sure to eradicate the chances of partial or total network failure. As server failures can be really detrimental to online businesses, it is imperative to make frequent server maintenance to leverage the utmost performance most of the time.
What Is A Server?
Servers are essentially gigantic processing devices or data storage that work either as virtual storehouses or as hardware on the internet. The software systems or computers that generally perform the function of servers are connected to a network. It can be any type of device that works as a server to save and share information.
Servers are the devices that process and store information within its system, or they can request information from another server. It generally begins with a tiny device that is simply used for transferring data to a functional computer that keeps growing in size. Eventually, it takes a considerable size that can perform the complex functionalities. In recent times, you will find the existence of virtual servers in cloud computing platforms with immense capabilities.
What Are The Different Types Of Servers?
If you have been working in the IT-related field or are an experienced IT professional, you know how servers play a crucial role in any network. Understanding the fundamentals of the server technology can be helpful for you to manage it better, maintain optimal performance and troubleshoot any kind of server-related issues.
There are essentially different kinds of servers, and each is known for its unique functionality. You need to have an understanding of the server type you are using in order to maintain its performance and troubleshoot the issues. The following are the six different types of servers mostly used in the IT fields.
1. Domain Controller Server
A domain controller server is essentially the type of server that responds to authentication requests and verifies users on the computer network. Domains can be referred to as the hierarchical way to organize computers and users that are working within the same network. A domain controller maintains all the data, keeps it organized and ensures its security.
The DC or Domain Controller holds the fundamental keys to the Active Directory or AD. Since attackers are aware of different kinds of tricks which give access to the networks, including the DC itself, you need to protect the DC and constantly use it to detect threats in progress. The prime responsibility of the Domain Controller server is validating and authenticating user access on the network.
When users log in to the domain, it will check the password, username, and other credentials to deny or allow the users access.
2. File Server
The centralized server within the computer network, whose prime responsibility is storing and managing data files, is referred to as a File server. Users can easily access the centralized storage space within the file server, which generally works as the medium for storing internal data. Users can easily share information over the network without physically transferring the files.
The server administrator will provide the rules and regulations about which users can access which files. These rules generally include closing, opening, editing, adding and deleting a file. In addition to getting access to the files through a local network, users can also get remote access. Therefore, users will be able to access and save the files on the server even when they are not present in the physical location.
It is one of the most common server types, generally used by organizations with several users that require file access safely and conveniently.
3. Mail Server
A mail server, sometimes called an email server, is a software program that generally sends and receives emails. This is done through email service platforms. These Mail servers play a significant role in the email delivery process. Without these servers, users cannot transfer their messages to another client.
As the mail server is being set up in a way to stay connected continuously to a network, any individual users will be able to access their email without the need for any particular system. They can use their device to access mail.
4. Application Server
An application server is another type that essentially connects clients to software applications. It generally makes use of a virtual server connection to ensure seamless communication. The application server also allows users to eradicate the need to download data into the hardware to access the applications.
Application servers host a massive amount of data to a large number of users simultaneously. This is the reason why an application server becomes an ideal choice for businesses.
5. Web Server
A web server generally delivers and stores website content like images, texts, videos, and other application data for the client who requests it. The server communicates with the browser by using the Hypertext Transfer Protocol or HTTP. The content present in the web pages is generally encoded in HTML. The content can be in any form, like static or dynamic. For delivering dynamic content, web servers use server-side scripting language.
A web server can host a single website or even multiple websites using hardware and software resources. These servers generally connect all the stored information from internet websites to your computer. It stores information for the internet, which is then retrieved through HTTP code and sent to your browser. It is one of the most frequent types of servers used globally.
6. Database Server
A database server is generally used for storing and managing database presence on the server and offering access only to authorized users. These servers generally keep all the data in a centralized location that can be backed up. It allows applications and users to access the data across the network. In an organization, a huge database can be easily stored on servers that are configured in a way to protect data.
It essentially provides a vast storage space that companies and organizations need to run a range of programmes and meet daily requirements. It can run independently without any database architecture.
What Is Server Maintenance?
Server maintenance refers to keeping the server software functioning and updated to perform continuously without any data loss or downtime. Regular server maintenance is essential as it keeps the server functioning without interruption and prevents partial network breakdown.
As servers are required for everything today, the server must work efficiently and smoothly. Remember that server maintenance is imperative as it works 24×7. This must be verified, updated, and corrected frequently to prevent bigger losses and huge downtime.
Why Is Server Maintenance Important?
In today’s digital environment, servers play a huge role in maintaining business functionality. Employees require accessing, storing, and exchanging data within the workspace regularly, which again requires the server to work without lag. Professionals can’t work at home or at the office without a server. However, business needs to ensure even more that the servers are regularly monitored, maintained, and updated to ensure their functionality.
As a server is essentially computer software or hardware with the prime function to provide data, resources, and applications to other systems, failing can become detrimental to businesses. Beyond everything, businesses generally use servers to store all the vital information within one location, which employees can share, access, and manage.
Following are some of the significant benefits of regular server maintenance.
- Reduces the chances of downtime.
- Ensures the longevity of server equipment.
- Keep your data safe.
- Checks against any cyber threat.
- Prevents a bigger detrimental consequence.
Server Maintenance Plan
As you primarily want to improve the performance of your server, you need to create a proper server maintenance plan to ensure that your server works continuously without any crashes. So following are some of the major steps you must integrate into your server maintenance plan to avoid any kind of interruption and problems.
1. Regular Data Backups
You definitely have experienced a server crash. It is a common thing to experience from time to time. In a very recent time, even Google has faced a similar issue, resulting in a huge one. This is why keeping the backup of the server is critical that requires it to be performed daily to ensure no data loss in case of any breakdown.
When you create a proper server maintenance strategy, it makes sure that the business data is regularly backed up. Building a solid backup strategy for your data also ensures a smooth data migration procedure. It will help to save both your money and time.
2. Enhanced Security
Cyber attacks are widespread these days. You might become a victim of such a server attack. This is why security should be the utmost vital component to maintain. In order to make sure of proper server maintenance, make sure to regularly check the security of your server and ensure that the company’s data is safe from Cyber attacks.
A great server maintenance strategy ensures that the server remains updated and has taken security protocols to prevent unethical access to the hacker into the network. It also works to assist administrators in identifying potential vulnerabilities and security threats, allowing them to find a solution to any issues quickly.
3. Remote Monitoring
It is a must for you to monitor the server’s performance throughout the day and weeks. It is essentially done to make sure that the server experiences optimal performance and maximum uptime. In today’s digital era, there is a need to have a system that helps professionals constantly monitor server performance 365 days a year.
With a proper server maintenance plan available to you, it becomes easy to accomplish your agenda. Remote monitoring must include services like performance monitoring, log monitoring, internal audit reporting, and application monitoring, and asset management. When the administrators are able to monitor every important aspect of the server, it will become easier to maintain and experience fewer threats.
4. Updated OS
It is always a necessity to keep your system updated. If you are making use of Linux, as one such operating system that releases frequent updates, it can be difficult to stay on top of the updates. In order to overcome these challenges, users can make use of automated patch management tools. You must also have proper monitoring to alert any outdated system.
You must know that when you update the server manually, there are chances that you might miss a critical security update. When you’re not automating the update, it is better that you make a schedule for a system update. This will also prevent unethical access to your system.
5. Check Disk Usage
It is always better not to use the production system as the archival system. Make sure that you delete the emails, old logs, and the software version that are no longer being used. When your system is free from old and outdated software, it prevents security issues.
Small data footprints mean fast recovery. If you find that the use has exceeded over 90% of the disc capacity, it is time that you either add storage or reduce its usage. When the partition reaches 100%, there are chances that your server might stop responding or face data loss.
6. Review User Accounts
As servers are the main space to keep all the information, you must review every account. In case there are clients, cancellations, staff changes or any other changes associated with the users, it is better to remove them from the system. When you keep storing old files and the users, it is a legal and security risk.
7. Monitoring RAID Alarms
Most of the production servers should use RAID. It is important to keep monitoring the RAID status. There are several instances where RAID might fail and can become detrimental. This means failure within a single file can result in complete system failure.
When you take a quick look at the RAID, it will help you to stay alert about potential drive failures. Hence, you can plan, rebuild and make drive replacements in a manner to minimize downtime.
8. Change Passwords
Password evaluation is an essential part of server maintenance. It is always recommended to keep changing passwords on a frequent basis to prevent any kind of unethical access. When you save the same password for a long time, it becomes easy to hack and get into your server.
So, making a habit of frequent passwords and changing them manually can keep your server maintained and helps to prevent any kind of illegal activities or security complications.
Server Maintenance FAQs
Ans: A server generally works to store, send and receive data. Anything can act as a server like a storage device, a software program or even a computer.
Ans: There are several important tasks to maintaining a server. Some of the most common ones include installing software patches, checking the logged files, and performing and updating regular backups.
Ans: A server does not have a keyboard or screen. However, it can store data and files. A server can store all the data associated with a website hosted through it. It can share information with mobile devices and computers that want to access them.
Ans: Server maintenance is generally an annual task. There is a need to perform annual maintenance at least once a year. Failing to do so can lead to server failure, data loss, and backup failures.
As stated earlier, server maintenance must be a regular part of any organization. It ensures reducing minor server issues and prevents downtime. It also reduces the chance of any kind of disastrous system failure. So planning a proper server maintenance plan with all the essential tips mentioned above will reduce the chances of failure and maintain the server performance throughout.