Information technology has become the backbone of organizations around the world. From providing efficient communication, storing business data to processing and responding to requests, without IT, it’s hard to survive today’s competitive edge. But just like any other machine, IT also requires regular maintenance without which it often fails. Failure in any IT asset- server, data center or even your wireless router brings a severe downtime to your business. The reliability on IT is so much high that business often suffers thousands and in some cases millions of dollars of loss due to downtime. Since your business reputation is on the line, you need to develop effective measures to reduce the service downtime of your IT assets.
What Causes Server and Network Downtime?
Before we look at the ways by which you can reduce IT downtime, it is important to understand what causes downtime. Downtime is generally caused when an important IT asset- computer servers, router or link layers fail. They may fail because of a power surge, software bugs, overheating, human errors and often due to malicious attempts for a security breach. That’s why it is advised to hire a managed IT service provider and let the experts handle your IT to keep it secured and running 24/7.
How to Reduce Server and Network Downtime?
“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning and focused effort.”
– Paul J. Meyer
Monitor the Vital Status of Your Server and Network:
The first place to begin optimizing and minimizing downtime is to monitor your IT assets. You will gain insights into your IT infrastructure which will help you in devising an efficient solution for downtime. Start gathering performance data, traffic flow, efficiency metrics and vital status of servers & routers and keep a backup of this data. You can identify usage patterns, hot-spots, security issues, and opportunities for improvement. Then you can change the ongoing practices, hardware components, cooling systems and software to avoid service outage.
Optimize Traffic Distribution:
Once you start monitoring the network traffic flowing within your organization as well as going out of it, you can identify areas that are isolated, congested and have too much load. If one of your routers or servers is receiving too much traffic while others are working at peak occasionally, you need to re-engineer the design of your network. In order to minimize service downtime, you need to remove device isolation and balance traffic in real-time. There are many network management tools that can help you to optimize traffic distribution like – SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor. You need to get the most out of your servers and routers and avoid partial distribution.
Utilize Log Management Tools:
Any device that is connected to a network including a server, router, sensor and system software produces log files automatically. Log files contain time-stamped documentation of events related to the device or software. You can audit the network resources and find anomalies in their usage by analyzing the log files. Gathering logs is a part of Security Information and Event Management that can greatly help you to identify security vulnerabilities and avoid service downtime.
Keep Devices Updated:
There is no software that is bugs free. And bugs (glitches or errors in software) can cause serious downtime. A bug in NASA’s Mars Climate Orbiter because of a simple conversion from English units to metric caused an embarrassing lapse that sent the $125 million craft hurtling in an orbit around the sun. Therefore, it is important to keep the software on each device updated. Don’t limit the updates to servers or routers. Secure and update any device- laptop, mobile or sensor that is connected to the network to avoid any security glitch.
Prepare in Advance for Peak Hours:
You may be receiving heavy traffic only during a few hours in a day or during a holiday season. With the number of devices connecting to the network increasing day by day, the traffic will increase exponentially. Therefore, it is important to prepare yourselves for the peak hours. You need to balance the traffic among different serves on your network. But even after optimizing the flow of traffic, if your systems are unable to process the enormous requests, you need to scale your resources. Instead of buying a server, you can invest your money in virtualization technology or cloud computing solutions. Cloud computing is a boon for SMBs (Small and Medium Businesses). It provides rapid scalability and reliability.
Keep Your RTO And RPO As Low as Possible (Backup and Recovery):
You cannot prevent the inevitable. Security solutions may save you from malicious attackers but they fail against natural disasters causing heavy downtime and loss of money. That’s why you need to take backups seriously. A good backup and recovery plan can save you from the losses and keep your services running again as soon as possible.
Low Recovery Point Objective (RPO) & Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and are the key elements of a good recovery plan. Both of them are measured in time units. They determine the tolerance of downtime and how long does it take to get systems running respectively. Another important backup measure is to save a copy of your backup off-site like on cloud storage so that an earthquake or building fire does not result in data loss.
Let the Experts Handle IT: Managed IT Services
A managed IT service provider in Miami can help you get the most out of your IT assets and minimize business downtime due to technology failure. They provide IT consultancy in Miami to guide you in devising a robust IT infrastructure for your company. They will keep install server & network, monitor your systems, keep everything updated, design a reliable backup & recovery plan and secure your systems from cyber-attacks. By hiring a managed IT service provider in Miami, you can mitigate the risks associated with IT and increase your business efficiency exponentially.