What you need to maintain your IT Infrastructure, Part 1
You need to maintain your IT, especially with remote work. This article details what should be worked on 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 workspace like; servers, switches and routers - typically inside of a server room. A cloud environment is when most 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, backup, and firewall items. Other items that tend to slip by but have a critical role in protecting your IT network are warranties and license 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 good starting point.
Server Hardware Maintenance
Your server hardware needs to be maintained both in a cloud and a local setting. Typically today servers are virtualized; meaning that multiple servers are contained inside of one server. This is done to get better use (capacity, performance, security, and resiliency) out of the equipment by segmenting it, while future-proofing the software environment. These multiple virtual servers built inside of a server are called VMs (virtual machines). The server itself is referred to as a physical host. VMware is a product that allows you to build and manage the VMs. iDRAC and Open Manager are products that allow you to manage the server hardware. 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
• CPU Usage, RAM usage, and available Disk Space
• Warranty Status
• VMware license
There is a bit IT jargon here but the core premise is there are pieces of the server hardware both in local and cloud setups that need to be reviewed and checked on an on-going basis. In a cloud environment, most of the hardware reporting is handled by the Cloud Service Provider. 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 workplace. The enterprise versions of these products would allow you, your IT staff or an IT company to manage them remotely. Each one of these should be reviewed and checked for any errors or suspicious activity.
Internet, Email and Web Checks
The Internet is the main medium of communication for access outside of 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 (OSs) is 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 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 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.