Your server is the backbone on which all your work rests. You depend on it to work, be secure and act as an archive. But without regular maintenance, you risk disruption or worse. Having a thorough checklist is a great way to make sure all your t’s are crossed and your i’s dotted. Download the free server maintenance checklist from ProjectManager.com and maintain with confidence.
Why You Need a Server Maintenance Checklist
Server maintenance is a process by which a server is updated to ensure that your company’s network continues to work properly. The task of maintaining a server is usually the responsibility of the network administrator.
Without an IT service plan, a server is not going to run as well as it should. Worse, the network can go down periodically or experience total failure. This, of course, can create major problems for any business or organization that relies on a network of computers.
To put it bluntly, servers are essential to everything computer-related. You want the server to run smoothly, and server maintenance, like changing the oil in your car, is the process by which you make sure your server is updated, that its security is sound and everything is working as it should work.
Frequent Maintenance is Required
A server, unlike a car, needs constant attention. Servers don’t sleep, they’re running 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They do serious work and need constant supervision to make sure they’re checked, fixed and updated as needed.
Server maintenance is the process of keeping your server working. A server maintenance checklist template collects all the many tasks related to that upkeep to make sure you don’t overlook anything crucial. This is the best way to protect your data from loss, either from breakdown or theft, as well as making sure your working at the highest level possible.
You do this by monitoring the server all the time and then analyzing that information. This way, when and if something happens, you know immediately and can fix it before it impacts your work.
Catch Problems Before They Happen
But a server maintenance checklist always helps you take preemptive measures. By updating when needed, you’re protecting the server from problems that haven’t even happened yet. This reduces future issues, but also prepares the network if something goes wrong.
The server maintenance checklist is a way keep the server healthy, both virtually and physically. Servers need cool rooms, and they must be dusted regularly so vents and air ways aren’t clogged. While those duties might not fall on the network administrator or the purview of the server maintenance checklist, they are nevertheless important.
What’s Included on Our Server Maintenance Checklist
We’ve broken our checklist into two sheets, one for a Windows server and another for a Linux server.
Windows Server Checklist
- New Package Updates Installed: This maintains your existing semantic versioning policies.
- Other Application Updates: This addresses applications on your server and updates them to the newest version.
- Server Access Reviewed: Who is allowed on the server must be reviewed periodically.
- Firewall Rules Reviewed: The rules related to the firewall that protects the server from outside interference must be periodically reviewed.
- Confirm Users Must Change Password: To keep up with security, passwords to access the server must be updated regularly.
- Automated System Recovery (ASR) Backup: A Windows OS feature that simplifies recovery of a computer’s system or boot volumes.
- Backups and Restores Tested and Confirmed Working: Backing up data is done regularly and must be tested regularly, too, in order to confirm that it is working properly.
- Monitoring Checked and Confirmed Working: Checking on the process of reviewing and analyzing server performance, security and other operations.
- Resource Usage Checked: Checking on usage from disk space to other server usage, such as memory and processor usage. The closer usage is to 100 percent, the more overtaxed the server.
- Hardware Physically Cleaned and Errors Check: Not only the software, but hardware can breakdown and, therefore, must be periodically checked and cleaned to make sure it’s working.
- Unused Applications Removed: Servers can become a graveyard of antiquated applications, so go through the applications periodically and remove those that are no longer applicable and just take up space.
- Review Disk Fragmentation and Run Defrag on All Drives: Analyze disk volumes for fragmentation and defrag.
- Monitor Available Disk Space: Know how much disk space you are using and what you have left.
- Disk Integrity Checked: Check driver verifier monitor to see if disk is accurately storing information.
- Event Log and Statistics Monitored: The event log is a record of events that have occurred on the computer.
- Regular Scans Are Being Run: Automated scans for any number of issues, such as viruses, should be reviewed to make sure they’re working as installed.
- Check Server Reliability: Checking whether the server is performing as required.
- Antivirus Logs and Updates: Looking over reports on scans for viruses and updating antivirus software as needed.
- Capture Service Performance Statistics: Collects information based on the performance of service to the server.
- Capture Service Usage Statistics: Collects information based on the usage of the server.
- Review Quota Levels: The limit set by a systems administrator that restricts some usage on the server and allocates disk space.
- Check Print Queues: Checks that print queues are acting correctly.
- Capture Configuration Screenshot: A way to save the settings at the time of maintenance to use as a baseline during next maintenance.
Linux Server Checklist
- Update Control Panel: Making sure the graphical user interface that controls system is up to date.
- Clean Hardware and Determine if Needs Updating: Hardware must be physically cleaned regularly and checked to see if everything is working properly or needs upgrading.
- Check for Application Updates: Make sure all your applications are up-to-date. If they’re not, update them.
- Update OS: The operating system must be current.
- Check System Security: How effective and updated is the security you employ to protect the data on your server.
- Add Hotfixes, Service Packs, Etc.: Adding small pieces of code (hotfixes) and software updates (service packs) to resolve software bugs.
- Remote Scan for Vulnerabilities: Look outside the system to see if there are any entry points not protected by existing security.
- Test Backup Archive Integrity: Make sure old backups are not corrupted or missing.
- Verify Backups: Make sure current backup is complete and able to open.
- Check Remote Management Tools: Check function of tools used to remotely manage the server.
- Check Server Utilization: Check server’s hard drive usage, including storage, and delete what isn’t necessary.
- Hardware Errors Checked: Issues that have arisen related to software must be checked and resolved.
- Monitor RAID Alarms: Check Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID) tools that monitor server for redundancies or performance and respond to any alerts.
- Check Disk Usage: Check percentage of storage in use compared to capacity.
- Review User Accounts: Make sure only appropriate users have access to the server.
- Change Passwords: Changing passwords frequently makes the server more secure.
- Test Recoveries: How well does the server recover from crash, hardware failure, etc., testing?
How to Use Our Server Maintenance Checklist
The server maintenance checklist is set up to capture all the activities related to making sure your server is working as best it can. The various tasks are broken down into frequency. That is, some require that they be done daily, others weekly and some only monthly, which there are those that need attention occasionally.
Maintenance and monitoring are made simple with a checklist that makes sure no review falls through the cracks and reveals itself when it’s a problem to work. Often server failure is due to not following through on a server checklist, which helps an administrator see red flags and therefore can resolve them before anyone else notices a break in their work flow.
The service maintenance template always an administrator to regularly check on the various aspects of their server, knowing what must be attended to daily or less frequently, and they can then schedule their time accordingly.
How to Use a Server Maintenance Template in ProjectManager.com
ProjectManager.com offers a robust platform to manage projects, from creating task lists to planning, scheduling and reporting on projects. If you want to put your server maintenance template into ProjectManager.com, then you can connect it to other aspects of your work and keep everything under one tent.
To import your server template, go to the projects section of the software, then the Gantt view. There you’ll see an import button on the upper right-hand side of the screen. Import the file you want (MS Project, CSV or Excel) and all your information is then populated into the Gantt chart.
If you want a simpler way to see your tasks and give yourself alerts so as never to forget a deadline again, go to the task list view. Now all your tasks for server maintenance are neatly lined up, easy to read and respond to.
Related IT Links from our Site:
ProjectManager.com is a great project management software, but it also offers one of the best libraries of training videos and work-related blog posts found online. Feel free to peek around, but in the meantime, here are a few posts we’ve published that speak to the subject of server maintenance and related work.
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