How to Achieve Acceptable Server Uptime?

Posted on January 6, 2012 by
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The IT world is always full of elusive goals and there could be nothing more elusive and slippery than goals related to server uptime. Keeping your servers awake and alive or at least always ready to spring instantly into action whenever needed is a dream close to the heart of any IT manager. Yet, only a few of them are confident that they have effectively implement ways to increase the uptime percentage. Unfortunately, many managers unnecessarily lavish funds and time on practices and technology that have negligible impact on uptime. Achieving an acceptable server uptime is both an art and a science, because many factors play a significant part, including staff competence, hardware reliability, maintenance routines, management policy and security practices.

IT managers shouldn’t waste resources and time on tools and practices that don’t have direct, measurable impact on uptime. Many companies try to improve uptime by implementing clustering, but clustering without automation may cause some issues. Unexpected failure on a main node can wreak havoc on the entire system, we better off having a decent uptime than recovering from a catastrophic failure regularly.

Many would agree that to guarantee system reliability, IT teams need to have carefully made plans on all server related tasks, from replacement to management to acquisition. For example, managers should include “lifecycle management”, because replacing outdated or damaged hardware can affect sustainability, performance and uptime. For During a planned software upgrade, it’s important to understand about the hardware requirements and the state of existing hardware.

The least painful and often the easiest way to bolster server reliability are by performing routine preventive maintenance. The uptime is often equals to the performance of the most unreliable component of the whole system. Identifying weak links and preventing possible problems can often go a long way toward having a highly reliable data center without taking too much resources and breaking the budget. To ensure that preventive tasks are performed well, they should be organized into a workable schedule. There are things that should be prioritized, such as installing security updates. A good maintenance task won’t steal server uptime.

These are five requirements when trying to have server with high uptime:

  1. Careful planning: Each task should be double-checked and lifecycle management should be enforced aggressively. Server upgrades and acquisition of new hardware should be coordinated and schedule properly to avoid affecting the uptime.
  2. Regular preventive maintenance: You can pay a relatively small amount of money on regular maintenance or pay later for a costly emergency recovery task; it’s simply a matter of choice.
  3. Proper use of monitoring and management tools: It is difficult to determine the root of issues that constantly rob your uptime without an adequate monitoring system.
  4. Bolstered security: Even if you have a properly maintained data center, attackers can always ruin your uptime goals. Independent audits, firewalls and anti-malware products are can improve your server uptime.
  5. Quality hardware: You can’t achieve your uptime goals with trashy servers and network devices.

About: This Article was Contributed by Raja. He is a Web Hosting industry watcher and writes regularly on Dedicated Hosting Reviews and Reseller Hosting Reviews.

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