IT Maintenance for Both Cloud and Local Infrastructures, Part 1
As more workers are using remote access, the need to maintain your network increases. This article details what should be looked at for both cloud and local environments.
Maintenance of your IT equipment is necessary for both local and cloud environments. A local environment is when you have IT equipment in your office or work space like; servers, switches and routers - typically inside of a server room. A cloud environment is when most if not all of that equipment is hosted in a data center. Maintenance is needed not just for the “major” pieces of equipment but also for the workstations, software, back up and firewall items. Other items that tend to slip by but have a critical role in protecting your IT network are warranties and licence renewals. The goal of this article is to break down what you need to consider for each part of your network to keep it healthy and working efficiently. This list is by no means comprehensive, but a starting point.
Server Hardware Maintenance
Your server hardware needs to be maintained both in a cloud and local setting. Typically today servers are virtualized; meaning that multiple servers are built inside of one server. This is done to get better use out of the equipment by segmenting it. These multiple virtual servers built inside of a server are typically called VMs (virtual machines). The server it self is often referred to as a virtual host. VMware is a product that allows you to build and manage the VMs. iDRAC and Open Manager are products that allow you to manager the server box. Here are a few things (but not limited too) you might want to check on.
• Status logs for the virtual host
• Hardware status on CPU, UPS, RAM, HDD, RAID, FANS, P.S
• Disk Space
• Warranty Status
• VMware license
There is a bit IT jargon here but the core premise being there are pieces of the server hardware both in local and cloud setups that need to be reviewed and checked on a on-going basis. You want to do this to keep your network healthy and functioning.
Network maintenance will differ from company to company but the core items to look at are; routers, WAPs (wireless access points), switches, VPN (Virtual Private Network) that encrypts your network data – protecting it, SAN (Storage Area Network) that holds your company data and software. Most of these would be local as in your work place. The enterprise versions of these products would allow you, your IT staff or an IT company to manage them remotely. Each on of these should be reviewed and checked for any errors or suspicious activity.
Internet, Email and Web Checks
Clearly, the internet is the main medium of communication for your network, especially when using cloud products. What you want to review is your web usage reports, internet connection speeds and a look at your email accounts - delete or archive unused ones accordingly. Unused email accounts are a cyber-security vulnerability and the speed of your internet connection will determine how effective your cloud products can be.
By workstation we mean your laptop (notebook), tablet, desktop and even your phone – whatever device(s) you use for work. Most of our clients use laptops or desktops. Operating Systems (OS) are crucial here. You want to ensure that they are current and up to date. If you are using an old OS you might not receive the latest security patches and updates. If your OS is End of Life (EOL) you typically won’t even get them. Update your devices. You also want to make sure that your Anti – Virus is up to date and installed.
This is really just the beginning of what you should be looking at from a maintenance perspective. There will be more to come in another post. What we recommend to our clients is to review these things at least once a month. It really depends on company size and industry but once a month will check a lot of this off. If you have any questions or would like us to do a maintenance check, feel free to contact us.