What Is Server Management? Tools And Best Practices

A look at the transformation of businesses from old-age manual inputs to a machine-controlled environment is fascinating. Even tiny agricultural practices are now computerized with less workforce required. As the transition wave continues, cloud storage is gradually replacing traditional machines for data management. The reason for this transition is not far-fetched as information technology provides businesses with a simple success formula – be innovative, reach more customers and record huge profits.

And staying as the backbone of these innovations is server. Every digital business requires a server before it can operate. Despite coming with many benefits, server threatens to be the weak link to the existence of a digital organization. Any breach in the security of an organization’s server can become a leeway for attack by hackers. With effective server management, businesses stand to gain far more than what’s required to maintain their server security.

Therefore, we are going to look at what server management is and the fundamentals of server management. Then we will move on to server types and their management challenges. Finally, we will discuss server management tools and tips.

Meaning of Server Management

Server Management is the process of managing a server. It includes all tasks and services required for effectively managing the server. As a server is a hardcore of any business, the server must be efficiently managed. Therefore, server management entails the following:

  • Monitoring the server and associated apps by noting their uptime and status. Also, monitoring entails checking out if there is any new or recurring issue.
  • Keeping the server and associated apps updated.
  • Ensuring adequate server setup and proper configuration of associated software and services.
  • Other management practices are based on your choice of the server management protocol.

With effective data management, you’re less concerned with issues such as; server downtime, slowdown, and security breaches. Also, your server tends to perform optimally with adequate server management.

Virtual Server

Virtualization of servers allows businesses to share multiple servers on a single hardware which is a sharp contrast to physical servers where only one server runs on a single machine. In addition, the freedom that accompanies virtualization makes it widely accepted as organizations see a more effective alternative to the traditional server at seemingly less cost.

Besides being cost-effective, the virtualization of servers also allows optimal use of space. All you need is a Virtual Machine for all your server. Also, they allow for a faster server experience. Despite all the incorporated benefits, it’s necessary to state that Virtual Machines can be hard to manage. Therefore, you need an expert to run them effectively. A server manager must be vast in physical and virtual server management tools.

Fundamentals of Server Management

The fundamentals of server management include the crucial components of effective server management that any Information Technology strategy or software solutions should address. They are:

  • Hardware Management
  • Software Management
  • Server Security
  • Backups

Hardware Management

From your server location/environment to the RAM, every hardware component of your server network deserves close monitoring. Inappropriate management of your hardware is a direct invitation to erratic production, as hardware determines how productive your server will be.

While all hardware components of your server deserve monitoring, five major components should always be kept at optimum efficiency. They include:

  • The CPU: The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is the brain of your server, handling significant tasks to ensure optimal functionality. Due to the workload, the CPU may be overused, potentially becoming less effective over time. To keep it working optimally, stop unnecessary programs, consider upgrading, or tune other systems’ performance.
  • The temperature of the Central Processing Unit: Monitor and control the CPU temperature to prevent overheating, which can lead to failed program processing.
  • The RAM: Random Access Memory (RAM) is the temporary storage unit determining server operational speed. Ensure sufficient space, and add more if needed.
  • The Hard Disk Drive: This permanent storage space keeps data intact even when offline. Ensure enough storage space by deleting unused programs, clearing caches, or upgrading the hard disk.
  • Server environment: Prevent overheating by maintaining a spacious, well-ventilated area. Control personnel movement and maintain low room humidity for optimal server performance.

As the overall capacity of your hardware directly affects your server, ensure you obtain good hardware specifications.

Software Management

Poor-performing software exposes other aspects of your server to cyber attacks in addition to lousy output. Therefore keeping your servers’ software at optimum efficiency is essential. Knowing software within your Information Technology environment makes identifying performance-related issues easier. Always constantly upgrade your Operating system, firmware, and software. This action will keep your server working efficiently and prevent unexpected attacks.

Server Security

The primary issue that frequently faces IT is security related. Your server is constantly under a series of attacks from unknown sources. And having your server breached can have a severe impact on your business. Therefore, you must, by all means, secure the safety of your network. This result can be achieved by frequently updating your software and firmware. Also, you might need to install and keep your antivirus up to date.

Furthermore, ensure your password has appropriate control and install firewalls from authorized sources. In addition, implement SIEM tools and encrypt any storage containing sensitive information. Finally, use security logging best practices to learn how potential threats manifest.

Adequate Backup

The last line of achieving effective server management is ensuring proper data backups on your server. Your server is prone to unexpected occurrences that can lead to data loss. Therefore, it’s essential to keep the necessary data backed up. To achieve efficient backup, you can get server backup software. Get one that can back up data across different servers.

Finally, your servers’ power supply should have a backup to avoid data loss during electricity issues. Your power backup plan should last several minutes to allow for rounding up activities and storage of necessary data.

Types of Server Management

When it comes to server management, there are two ways you can manage your server. They are:

  • Internal server management
  • External server management

Internal server management is a process whereby an organization manages servers by itself. All you need is a staff who’s adept in server management. In addition, the employee in charge needs to have access to the necessary server management tools. Managing your server internally will allow you to gain total control of your server without fear of an information breach.

On the other hand, external server management entails partnering with another organization specializing in server management. Since experts run these businesses, your server will be efficiently managed. Also, this type of server management might be cost-effective as getting server management tools might be expensive. You can also choose to combine internal and external server management, depending on your business requirements.

Choosing The Best Server Management Tool

If you’re considering getting server management tools, there are several practical tools in the market. However, not all of these tools deserve your bucks. Therefore, you need to be sure that the tool you’re getting can monitor the IT architecture and operating system you’re using. Also, the software management tool you’re buying must tick these two boxes:

  • Must be able to monitor across systems, software, XaaS services, and applications you’re currently running in your organization
  • Also, it must be able to detect the root cause of server problems.

Most of the available server management tools possess the needed abilities. Do the necessary research before getting your server management tools, and pick one that suits your available software and applications.

To Sum it up

Server management is a necessity for a successful server experience. The server controls how well your IT business performs; therefore, you must keep your server working effectively. There are various server management tools and techniques, and your choice of a server management tool or strategy should focus on which system, software, and other related tools you have on the ground.

Also, it’s important to note that servers your server management techniques should cover all necessary fundamentals of server management. You can partner with professional companies if you don’t have an expert on the ground or can’t afford virtual management tools. After all, all you need is the result. Finally, effective server management prevents your server from attacks and downtime and overrules ineffective performance.

text written by:

Paweł Piskorz, Presales Engineer at Storware