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Dec 29

The Value of Doing Server Health Audits on a Regular Basis

What is a Server Health Audit?

In order to keep any system running smoothly it is important to periodically maintain that system. In the case of a car this may consist of changing the oil, checking brakes and tire pressure, and topping off all of your fluids. In a business computer network environment, the same principles are applied as we check error logs, run system maintenance, test backup strategy, and much more. Our Server Health Audits are more than just running maintenance. We spend lots of time to proactively look for potential problems and security holes. We want to find a potential problem before it causes downtime.

Here is a high level overview of what is included in a Quarterly Server Health Audit:

  • Onsite Evaluation of infrastructure
  • Performance degradation remediation
  • Check health of battery backup system (UPS)
  • Check active user accounts and security levels
  • Check health of Windows domain/Active Directory
  • Perform physical and disk maintenance on server
  • Install service packs and updates to Windows
    • Install Service Packs for Windows and Microsoft Office products
    • Install Windows security updates, and other critical updates on each server
    • Install updates to Adobe Reader and Flash Player
  • Check server health
  • Document server configuration
  • Review, test, and verify data backup system
  • Check health of application server software where applicable (SQL Server, Exchange)
  • Ensure antivirus is functioning and up to date
  • Check system for Malware and other infections
  • Check all internet connections and firewall security

 

Why is this important?

In a perfect world, software would have no bugs and there would be no unscheduled downtime. Fortunately, with regular maintenance we can reduce the chance of unscheduled downtime by identifying issues before they become real problems.

 

Do I really need to do this for each server?

If you have multiple servers in your environment, they all work together like cogs in a machine. When one server starts to have issues or performs slowly, then it will affect the performance and stability of other servers on your network. Computer problems do not usually get better on their own. Instead they tend to get worse as time passes. Think of the snowball effect… where the snowball is small and manageable at the top of the hill. By the time it reaches the bottom, the snowball has become a giant version of itself. Identifying problems early on can prevent the kind of problems that bring down your business for days, costing your business tens of thousands or more in lost productivity.

 

Why not just wait until we have an issue to correct?

Downtime is VERY expensive. If your server has an issue, and is unavailable for three days, how productive will your organization be? Chances are the answer is “not very productive”. Our goal in providing a Server Health Audit is to help ensure your systems will be running without any foreseeable issues for the next 90 days. While we can’t prevent power related issues or targeted cyber-attacks from happening, we spend the time to identify any weaknesses in protection and identify any existing problems and remediate performance degradation.

 

How long does it take to complete a server health audit?

A long time!! Performing a Server Health Audit typically takes a minimum of 2 weeks for the most minimal environments. But you don’t have to worry since we charge on a flat-fee per system audited. This way if an audit takes longer than expected, you don’t have to pay an extra penny.

 

Why does it take so long?

We collect a lot of data using both your server’s built-in logs, as well as 3rd party security tools which actively look for vulnerabilities. In addition, our engineers compare your configuration with the industry best practices and make recommendations to improve your systems reliability, usability, and security.

What would the A la carte cost be?

Doing an entire Server Health Audit is beneficial technologically and financially. Not only do you have the benefit of us checking a wide gamut of systems, but paying A la carte would result in a price tag 6-15 times the cost of the Server Health Audit.

 

Are Quarterly Server Health Audits Included in my Managed Server Plan?

Server Health Audits are included for any servers covered by our “All Inclusive” Hassle Free Technology Service Plan. If your servers are covered by the Professional or Premium plans, Quarterly Executive Summaries are included, however this is not a full audit. Regular audits are still recommended.

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