Server Management Tips for Small Businesses

Many small businesses require an array of IT resources to fuel their day-to-day operations, and servers are the cornerstone of mission-critical infrastructures in this context.

Because of this, you need to get to grips with the ins and outs of effective server management, so here are some tips that could transform your approach going forward.

Outsourcing is appealing

Everything from server management to IT support can be outsourced, and there are packages suitable for small businesses from USWired and many other providers.

This is significant because of the resource-intensive nature of server management. If you are struggling to keep up with your responsibilities or you simply do not have the in-house talent to handle your IT assets effectively, outsourcing is the easy and affordable alternative.

Monitoring is essential

Keeping tabs on your servers should be a priority, and there are a number of reasons to take this seriously.

Firstly, by looking into the performance stats of a server you can more easily troubleshoot issues, identify bottlenecks, and deal with rogue processes that are monopolizing its hardware resources.

Secondly, you will be better able to pinpoint potential security vulnerabilities and breach attempts if you are always monitoring your infrastructure, as anomalies will be more straightforward to spot. There are lots of tools for helping you with this.

Lastly, server monitoring allows you to plan ahead by predicting when you might need to upgrade your server based on the usage it receives over time.

Physical servers require special attention

If you do decide to host a server on-site, there are a lot of things to think about. You will need to position it in an area that has adequate cooling to dissipate the heat generated by the hardware.

You will need to make sure it is not in close proximity to employees, as servers are necessarily noisy in the pursuit of low operating temperature. You will also need to rack-mount server hardware and arrange the cabling in a way that does not inhibit airflow.

Also, consider the physical security of your server resources. Keeping them under lock and key outside of office hours, and also managing access to them during the working day, should mitigate most risks.

Installing updates is unavoidable

It is not just the server hardware that will need updating from time to time, as the software will be even more frequently patched in order to fix bugs and remove security vulnerabilities.

If you are directly responsible for managing the server, you have to be on the ball when it comes to installing updates. Even delaying this a few days could leave you exposed to cyber threats unnecessarily.

Updating systems will cause a degree of disruption in most cases, so try to schedule this for a time when it will not impact employee productivity.

Collocation is an option

If you want to offload some of the responsibilities of managing a physical server to a third party, without going all-in on cloud migration, then collocation could offer the ideal solution.

In this type of arrangement, you can add a server to an existing data center and allow the operator to take care of things like housing it, cooling it, and providing it with power and network access.

Meanwhile, you will retain complete control over all of the server’s hardware and software, which might be a selling point for some small businesses with specific needs.

Concluding thoughts

Small businesses can do as much or as little of the server management heavy lifting as they like in the modern age, which is definitely a good thing.

All you need to do is scout out the top packages which match your budget and meld with your server expectations.

Posted by Dragan Sutevski

Dragan Sutevski is a founder and CEO of Sutevski Consulting, creating business excellence through innovative thinking. Get more from Dragan on Twitter. Contact Dragan