Server downtimes are dreaded by data center managers around the world. While a certain amount of planned downtime may be required periodically for maintenance, other unforeseen, unwarranted server downtimes can cost the data center and the clients whose data and businesses depend on them quite heavily.
By duly understanding the reasons for such downtimes, taking necessary precautions, and continuously monitoring your servers, it is indeed possible to reduce the frequency of downtimes and mitigate their effects. Here are a few tips:
Take measures to prevent human error
Human error is one of the most common reasons for server downtimes. This could be due to lack of understanding, insufficient awareness, or simply due to negligence on the part of the data center employees. By setting up access control systems and documenting every activity in the data center premises, it is possible to hold employees accountable for their actions. This, in turn, can significantly reduce downtimes. It is also important to effectively train your data center staff so that they are clear about dos and don’ts.
Protect your hardware and software
Other than human error, there are several other factors that may cause server downtime. One of the most serious cases is when downtime is caused by a cyberattack such as a distributed denial of service (DDoS) that can either paralyze or crash servers. Setting up strong cybersecurity systems to enhance security, continuously carrying out penetration testing and attack simulations can help to identify and address vulnerabilities.
Keep your equipment in shipshape
Sometimes, server downtime is caused by an unexpected equipment crash. An important truth to remember here is that well-maintained equipment tend to function better and have longer lifespans. Think about replacing old and obsolete equipment which can be more prone to crashing unexpectedly under heavy workloads. The temperature of your data center also has a lot to do with the optimum functioning of your equipment, so pay attention to your cooling systems and maintain them well.
Account for uninterrupted power supply
A power shutdown at a data center or even in a small area of the center can cause multiple servers to go down at one time. Deploying a UPS and also having a backup power source, such as a generator, prepared at all times will help minimize such incidents. Using stabilizers and standard power distribution units (PDU) will also help you efficiently deal with the effects of sudden fluctuations that may harm the servers.
Prepare for the worst
How will you ensure uninterrupted access to data if, despite your best efforts, there is a server crash? Natural disasters, although uncommon, are also among the factors that can cause downtimes. In addition to preparing the data center to prevent damage during such situations, it is also important to establish a thorough disaster recovery plan and ample provision for backing up your operating system and data. In this way, even if something crashes, nothing will be lost and you can get back up and running quite easily.
Monitor your servers at all times
Incompatibility, poorly deployed patches, configuration changes, failed updates, and so many other reasons can cause unexpected downtimes. The only way to prevent them or catch them early before they cause much damage is by continuously monitoring all your systems at all times. While manual monitoring is necessary, setting up an automated server monitoring system can also go a long way.
To know more about data center maintenance and for support in monitoring your server, opt for the data center consultation services by Hardy Racks!