Whether your business utilizes a cloud or on-premise server to store data, you likely know just how vital a server is. Servers store company information, data, files, customer data, confidential data, and all kinds of digital information. They also host email domains and backup data, which is critical for every business. While having a server is ideal for most businesses, it isn’t enough to simply have a server; it is just as important to have a trustworthy server management system in place to ensure it runs smoothly and efficiently.
Keep reading to learn more about server management, why it matters, and tools that business owners can use to make the most of their servers.
What is Server Management?
At its most basic definition, server management is the process of monitoring and maintaining the hardware and software components of a server so that it operates optimally. This will look a little different for every business, but tasks can include setting up, configuring, securing, backing up, and restoring servers, to name a few.
Benefits of Server Management for SMBs
Server management matters because your digital information matters. When managed properly, servers should minimize slowdowns and secure online data.
When a dedicated team is in place to manage your servers, they run optimally. Server management includes regularly testing servers and checking for any applicable updates. This means that you and your employees will waste less time dealing with server issues, downtime, or slow systems. Rather than waiting until you’re dealing with slow servers, server management is a proactive approach that keeps things running smoothly so you can work without hiccups.
Cybersecurity is more important than ever, especially for small businesses, who are the victims of 43% of cyberattacks. By keeping servers backed up and up to date, server management teams also keep data secure. Furthermore, since they are constantly monitoring server activity and performance, they are more likely to notice suspicious activity before a cybercriminal has the chance to attack. Malicious intent isn’t always the cause of data loss; devices break, die, and crash. Server backups secure your information in the event of these mishaps.
Types of Server Management
Companies have options when it comes to server management. They can choose to have an in-house team dedicated to this task, or they can hire a specialist to monitor their servers.
Internal Server Management
This is just what it sounds like—employing a team that is dedicated to all things server management. This strategy works well for large companies that have the capacity to hire a team that can focus solely on servers. Most often, this team will be part of the larger IT team. When using this approach, it is important that the team is specialized in server management, rather than assigning an existing team additional responsibilities. Your servers are critical, so look to hire someone with experience in the area.
External Server Management
The other option for managing servers is to hire an outside company to manage them for you. This approach is ideal for smaller companies that don’t have the means to dedicate an entire team to the task. There are several benefits to outsourcing server responsibilities to a company that specializes in these services.
Hiring an external company to manage your servers can reduce your overhead costs. Instead of hiring a full-time employee or team of employees to manage your servers, you can hire one company to do that very thing. Additionally, you can rest assured that the external company is truly an expert in server management; they will have all the tools and knowledge required to keep your servers in tip-top shape. Look for a company that offers exceptional customer service; many even offer 24/7 hour assistance.
Server Management Tools
There are a variety of tools you can take advantage of to simplify server management. Two of the most popular tools are Solar Winds and Atera.
This software makes troubleshooting server issues and optimizing performance easier than ever. Additionally, it can prevent outages, monitor performance, and provide real-time trends to help you pinpoint and prevent server problems.
Atera is similar to SolarWinds, but many users say this software is easier to use. This tool provides real-time monitoring, patch management, remote monitoring, and more.
Interested in other tools to help manage your server? Here’s a breakdown of 18 different platforms.
Best Practices for Server Management
Whether you choose to use internal or external server management, there are a few best practices to keep in mind. For internal practices, use this list to guide your team. For external practices, use this list to make sure the company you hire is doing their due diligence.
- Use antivirus software
- Backup data regularly
- Document issues and updates
- Update servers regularly
- Manage hardware and software
Cardinal Technology Solutions providers a wide variety of services for small businesses in Winchester, VA and the surrounding areas. If you have questions about your current servers or if you are interested in external server management solutions, contact us today.