Server Support and Sales
A total server solution is critical to keep your business running smoothly with maximum up time. For this you require a server currently covered by three-year onsite hardware warranty, virtualised server images configured correctly, and all constantly monitored resources, up time, internet connection, and backups. The OS has to be constantly updated, error logs must be checked constantly, and the data should be checked for viruses with real time protection, and with manual scans also.
Data security is important, so testing should be done to check that users have the correct access and security to the folders as per your instructions. With staff leaving and new staff joining, it’s important to make sure all user accounts are up to date. And as new staff join, we can have new workstations, with email, printing, and folder access all setup on time so they can commence work straight away, meaning greater efficiency and less downtime for you.
Server Support - how we can help
- Server Support
The server is the most critical component of your IT asset list. It stores all of your company data, dictates what user accesses what folder, or program. It controls printing, scanning, it can provide hosting for websites, it can host your SQL database; therefore, controlling your entire company, it can control your phones, backups, finance, and emails.
It is crucial we have proper proactive maintenance rules in place for your server, and especially backups. These have been covered already in the Backups Services sub page. MTC Company Policy is to always have a Backup Policy for a Server it is responsible for. We will soon be making it mandatory for any server we support, that it is covered by a Disaster Recovery Policy AND a ManageTECH Agreement.
- Disaster Recovery Policy
This is a policy agreed upon by MTC and the customer. It includes the following:
- Roles of the server (e.g. Domain Controller, Active Directory, File, Print, Email Exchange, SQL, Backups).
- How critical is the server to the Company; i.e. what is the affect on the company if it goes down, and what is the expected turnaround of a new server to be installed. Keep in mind the normal turnaround is 15-30 business days. Most servers are shipped from South East Asia, and take 15 business days just to get to Australia. Then you would expect another 5-10 business days to install on-site.
- Once replacement server is installed, what is the recovery process of company data. For SQL database records; when was the last record saved; how long can company operate without record keeping. Is there a replacement machine that is ready to go that just needs a Database import? How often were records being backed up? Was it daily or monthly? When was the last test restore? How long can your company last before it needs the server back up and running?
- Is MTC required on site during business hours, or during weekends/public holidays?
- What are the clients legal obligations to data loss, safe keeping of IT’S customers financial/medical/family data, are these being considered?
- What documentation and safe keeping practices are required by the customer’s insurance company?
- What is the minimum requirements set within the client’s industry regarding data location? Note that MTC Cloud backups are compliant with the Australian Privacy Principles in the Commonwealth Privacy Act.
- Server proactive support
As with desktop machines, servers also require proactive maintenance to be done regularly. Proactive maintenance for a server includes:
- Active Directory: sorting of users and computers, pruning any that are no longer active. We check that AD recycle bin is enabled also. Active Directory backups are done also.
- Performance monitoring and tuning using Windows Resource Monitor
- Check temperature of the room, and get the air conditioning serviced and checked prior to shutting the office over holiday breaks.
- Check all vents and fans within the rack / tower server are clean and serviceable.
- Backup testing and monitoring. Regular IT road map meetings with the client to check that we have an updated list of what data needs backing up. Disaster recovery testing and scenario training. For SQL server, checking the backups of the database and configuration files also.
- Install monitoring software for temperature, fans, ECC errors, hard drive status, SMART, RAID controllers, arrays
- Investigate any unexpected reboots.
- Investigate any critical UPS equipment and make sure it is working correctly. Is the error reporting setup? What is the run time of the battery’s? Does the client need the UPS running for extended period of times for any phone system or hosted websites?
- Consider network redundancy. What would happen if networking components would fail? Check the software or firmware of the components is up to date. Consider a fault tolerant, IE load balanced router solution
- Windows Operating systems receive regular updates that need to be researched and tested prior to installing on live production machines (servers).
- We also need to check the anti virus software. Is it up to date, and are the scans running automatically. Have there been any attacks and where did they come from. Consider training of staff so they don’t bring USB drives to work that are infected as this could lead to damage to the company data, and expensive restorations from backups. Are all the anti-virus products activated, up to date and licensed?
- Do applications on the domain need updating? We can deploy application updates via GPO or via scripting. We also make sure application data is backed up prior to updating any applications, and we roll out updates gradually, we don’t do them all at once in case we need a back out strategy due to failed updates.
- We also track memory utilisation, and keep records of statistics so we can baseline our stats and see if there are any changes over the course of time.