Server Management: Tips for Securing Your Businesses
Server management is one of the most complex challenges for IT teams in businesses, regardless of size. From deploying servers and managing patches to tracking, configuring, and testing changes, the sheer volume of routine tasks involved in server management can overwhelm even seasoned IT pros.
In this guide, we will explore how to better manage servers from the perspective of today's server technology, security concerns, and useful software tools, and how to choose the importance of having the right server monitoring software to support your businesses.
What Is Server Management?
Server management is defined as the act of managing server infrastructure and overseeing its performance by continuous monitoring using various tools or methodologies. It includes all of the monitoring and maintenance required for servers to operate reliably at peak performance levels, while also involving the management of hardware, software, security and backups, all to keep the IT environment operational and efficient. Server performance management helps in increasing agility of business-critical applications and aims at optimizing the performance of both physical and virtual servers.
Server Management Tips
The overall impact of server management on the enterprise is quite comprehensive. Let’s take a closer look at some of the important elements within this broad-reaching concept.
Keeping hardware performing well is the foundation of effective server management. Without reliable hardware, business productivity can be affected, so there are a few key hardware elements that should be monitored and managed closely as part of any server management strategy:
Central Processing Unit (CPU): The server's CPU acts as the brain, performing all the calculations to make programs run. Because they are heavily used, IT teams need to constantly monitor their working situation to avoid slowdowns or system crashes. When managing CPUs, you can consider upgrading the CPUs, which is the best choice. Alternatively, you can also add more CPU resources from other assets, stop resource-hogging processes, or fine-tune system-wide performance to reduce CPU load.
''Also Check- What Is a Server CPU?
CPU Temperature: The server will generate a lot of heat during operation, causing the whole machine to fail and bring disastrous consequences. Servers have built-in cooling systems and temperature gauges, making it easier to manage servers, even remotely. If the temperature gets too high, IT technicians can shut down the hardware and assess the situation before the heat reaches critical levels.
Random Access Memory (RAM): RAM as a working memory of server, is the temporary storage used for fast operations and caching. The more RAM your server has, the better its potential performance. You should keep an eye on RAM usage and consider adding more when it nears capacity.
Hard Drive: The hard drive (also referred to as a hard disk) provides persistent storage for the server. Performance can degrade when a hard drive nears maximum capacity. You need to keep track of hard drive storage space, adding new drives or deleting unnecessary data when they fill up (or choosing a cloud storage solution).
Operating Environment: The operating environment where the server is located must maintain proper temperature and humidity, and maintain air circulation for heat dissipation.The server room should allow optimal cooling for peak server performance and reliability.
''Also Check- What Are Server Cooling Technologies?
Just like hardware, server software, which belongs to server management, also requires monitoring and regular maintenance. Poor performance can drag down your entire system, and understanding how software is managed in your IT environment makes it easier to identify and resolve performance issues. The following is a detailed introduction for you from three aspects of server configuration, monitoring and security:
The first thing you need to do after you get a server is set it up. In the case of on-premises servers, you usually get the hardware. Then you have to start with installing the OS and all the necessary software. If it’s a cloud server, you have the OS installed. Most of these server OSs come with inbuilt services that you have to turn on to use. If there’s something more you need, you’ll have to install it. Once the installation is done, you add it to the network.
Server configuration is the next step after setup. When you set up a server, it’s on default settings. So you will have to change the configurations, if necessary, to what you want. Once you’re done with server configuration, your server is ready to function as required.
Monitoring is important for any system, but especially servers. Server monitoring is the process of keeping an eye on your server’s activities. You can set up server monitoring tools and start monitoring your server's health, performance, failures, and more. Monitoring is very important to gain server visibility. It helps identify problems and room for improvement. It should be obvious that performance issues can be identified by monitoring different server performance metrics. Once the cause is identified and a solution is found, you will have to make changes to improve the server’s performance.
Security is a key concern in all aspects of IT, and server management should involve keeping a secure network from the inside out.If your servers are not secure, your whole network and applications can go down in seconds.
While security policies differ depending on the organization, there are several standard considerations for most use cases.
Also, remember to use the basic best practices with software management – keep all firmware and software up to date, and configure firewalls to block unauthorized network traffic. It is also good practice to enforce access controls through password policies and encrypt sensitive data , and implement SIEM tools, logs, and SOC monitoring when necessary.
The above methods can well avoid security loopholes and prevent network attackers from exploiting these loopholes to enter your network and cause unpredictable damage.
The key to ensuring security and business continuity is regular backups and backup testing. Data loss from a disaster or ransomware attack can bring most organizations to their knees. In these cases, a robust backup solution can be a lifesaver. Even if one server fails, you can have a copy of the server that can handle traffic, but frequent backups are also important, especially if there is a single point of failure.
The servers should also have power backup features, including uninterruptible power supplies (USPs) with built-in surge protection, power conditioning, and emergency power to ensure data isn’t lost during a power outage.
The Best Server Management Tools
Server management tools will help you with various tasks. They not only make things easy but also provide better visibility over your servers and their activity. Server management tools increase automation and decrease human intervention, enabling smart operations. With built-in service checks and automatic anomaly detection, the accuracy of alerts can be greatly improved. In addition, it can provide holistic views of the network environment and collect data without agents to facilitate real-time monitoring and analysis of network traffic.
Some of the most relevant tools for managing servers are:
Server Density: An intelligent web services security platform and proactive monitoring tool for securing on-premises and cloud-based servers. It covers Linux and Windows servers, AWS, and Azure-based cloud servers.
Zabbix: Monitor servers and networks with a series of network monitors, many reminder and notification facilities, and a very user-friendly web interface.
Prometheus: It uses Simple Network Management Protocol ping to gather information from devices and check network performance. It is an open source monitoring and alarm system based on time series database, which needs to be used in conjunction with grafana graphical software.
Nagios: A powerful open source server/network monitoring solution that provides complete monitoring and alerting for servers, switches, applications and services, but has extremely complex configurations.
Ganglia: An open-source and BSD-licensed tool for managing servers specially designed for high-performing clusters.
Cacti: Using network polling and data collection functions, it displays network health and performance in a visual form, but it is cumbersome to deploy and use.
Benefits of Server Management
Server management is the process of simplifying server-related tasks. This helps to execute these tasks on a schedule. Here are the obvious benefits:
Reliability: Your business depends on server uptime and accurate implementation monitoring. Based on superior management services, your network environment will remain stable.
Availability: Replace necessary hardware and efficiently back up your data before a failure occurs, ensuring business continuity.
Security: Provides security in the knowledge that software updates and patches are completed.
Cost savings: Simplified network deployment means your overall maintenance costs remain low.
Choosing the Servers You Need
There are many different brands in the server market, and the server performance and services provided are also different. FS servers support Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) to manage systems both in-box and remotely, providing simplified IT management to control management costs and speed up infrastructure provisioning. The integrated BMC management monitors the operating status of the system in real time, supports early warning and fault recovery functions, and ensures the stable operation of your system.
Additionally, FS servers offer a range of pre-configured multi-function options to meet the needs of modern and growing businesses. Custom servers can be configured according to your network requirements, including high-performance processors, memory, hard drives, and PCIe expansion slots.
If you get either of the FS rack servers and tower servers, you get full server management, fully included at no additional cost to you. This means you'll have a team of experts managing your servers with the best tools in the industry, top-notch server resources, and unrivaled technical support.
''Also Check- FS Rack Servers and Tower Servers
Where there are servers, there is server management. Server management is a complex but essential process for running your network smoothly. By understanding the basics of server management, then choosing the right product and implementing the right management tools, you can keep your business safe and secure.