10 Point Server Maintenance Checklist
A server sends and collects data across a network. It is a device that operates 24/7 to manage network resources.
Like all machines, it requires regular maintenance to prevent server failure. Server maintenance ensures your network is running efficiently.
Server failure can lead to costly downtime.
Our server maintenance checklist is to ensure your servers run smoothly at all times.
1. Verify Backups
Before making any changes to your server, verify the integrity of your backups.
- Take backups frequently and on a regular schedule
- Manual check backup schedule, location, and recovery times
- Test the backup files
- Check if server files are replicated at the right backup location
- Perform a 'Test Restore’
2. Maintain a Disaster Recovery Plan
A Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) outlines how to respond in case of a server failure.
1. Think through your application’s requirements to outline the primary goals.
2. Include backup audits such as:
- Status check
- Data integrity check
- Disk space check
- Recovery process check
3. Conduct a Risk Analysis. Server maintenance plan on how to avoid potential risks such as:
- Accidental loss of applications and data
- System failure
- Electrical outages
- DDoS attacks
- Weather disaster
4. Build a Recovery Team. 5. Establish the budget for disaster recovery. 6. Test and update the Disaster Recovery Plan regularly.
3. Check Disk Usage
Keep your server storage-free to lower the risk of a server crash.
Reduce the storage by deleting old logs or unused software. Start adding more storage capacity to avoid the risk of data loss and server freezing.
It is recommended to have 20-30% of free disk storage.
4. Check Server Resource Usage
Disk space is not the only resource you need to monitor in preventive maintenance. The processor can show the server usage.
You need to review CPU, RAM & network usage. If any of these is close to full usage, plan to increase resource capacity.
Be proactive if they are close to the limits. Before usage reaches a certain limit, migrate the server or add resources.
You can install a monitoring tool with notification alerts, such as Xabbix. It helps to avoid service outages.
5. Server Security
Check the system configuration, OS updates, and other potential security risks.
Test the state of the server, database, and network security with remote auditing tools.
- Use a Web Application Firewall
- Remove outdated software
- Update the OS and applications
- Enforce strong passwords on all user accounts
- Enable Two-Factor verification
- Use TLS/SSL certificates
- Maintain data and systems backups
- Perform a server malware scan
6. Review Server Logs
Review your logs to stay familiar with the operation on servers.
The server generates logs when errors occur. The logged error allows you to identify a hardware issue. You can fix it before it leads to server failure.
7. Resolve Hardware Errors
Modern server operating systems track and log hardware errors. Review logs to identify hardware issues. Resolve hardware errors before it leads to a server crash.
- Check logs for network failures
- Check for disk read/write errors
- Perform all driver, controller firmware, and software updates
- Run system consistency check
- Replace any drives that have failed or are show signs of failing
You can configure a server monitoring utilities with applications. It sends alerts when hardware errors occur. It can help prevent issues caused by hardware failures.
8. Remote Management Tools
The three essential tools for remote server management are:
- Remote console
- Remote reboot
- Remote rescue mode
Remote management tools help you manage servers. These tools are essential to manage remote servers or dedicated servers.
Test remote server management tools regularly to make sure they are functional.
9. Update Control Panel
The Control panel is built to manage servers. For maximum server performance, ensure it is upgraded to the latest version.
The control panel needs to be updated manually. You probably also need to update the applications that it manages.
10. Update the OS
Operating system updates can enhance security in the system.
OS update contains new software and applications with enhanced features. You should always do an update in parallel to your production system.
After you have done the updates on the dev/test system, check if all the applications are operating correctly.
Many factors contribute to keeping your servers running smoothly. If you are managing your own server, the checklist above is intended to guide you.
With this checklist, you should have a better understanding of server maintenance. You can also use a control panel to manage your servers.
To learn more about effective server management, check out our blog.