3 Server Management Tips Every SME Should Know About

In today’s digital age, businesses of all sizes rely heavily on technology to manage critical operations and data. Therefore, server management couldn’t be more important, especially for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with limited IT resources and budgets. 

High-quality servers and effective server management will ensure smooth and efficient performance, protect sensitive data, prevent downtimes, and much more. To find out how to improve your server management overall, carry on reading.

Regular Maintenance and Updates

Regular maintenance and updates are vital to keeping the servers running smoothly. With technology advancing rapidly, staying on top of the latest security patches, firmware updates, and software upgrades is vital. 

Developing a maintenance schedule is the best way to do this. Some common things to check are:

  • Software updates: Regularly checking for software updates is the best way to keep the operating system, applications, and other software running as smoothly as possible.
  • Firmware updates: Firmware is the low-level software that controls the components of the server. This will improve performance, add new features and address security vulnerabilities.
  • Monitor system logs: Server logs will record the server’s performance, errors, and security events. By watching for these, you can help identify potential issues before they become serious problems.
  • Automate updates: Having your server enable automatic updates will allow you to get the latest software as soon as it’s released, meaning you don’t miss out on any critical updates.

Routine checkups on your servers ensure that business operations run smoothly with no hiccups.

Monitoring and Metrics

Monitoring and metrics are critical parts of effective server management for SMEs. 

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It is very important for SMEs to monitor server performance and use key metrics to identify potential issues. This is especially important given the growing complexity of the IT infrastructure and increased workloads.

Here are a few ways you can do so:

  • Set up monitoring tools: SMEs can use various monitoring tools to track server performance and identify potential issues. These tools can range from basic tools like task managers to more advanced tool software that may require payment plans. 
  • Define metrics to track: Key metrics are CPU core/cores utilisation averages, memory utilisation, network traffic, and disk space. By monitoring these metrics, you can analyse server performance and watch for when it drops below a certain level. 
  • Use automation: Automated monitoring tools can provide real-time alerts and notifications when performance drops below a certain level, or a potential problem arises. Real-time alerts will allow you to act promptly and assess the situation. For example, disk space drops below a critical level of available storage.
  • Benchmark performance: SMEs can benchmark their server performance against others in the industry to compare how competitors rank and stay ahead of the game.

Monitoring and metrics are essential for making sure your SME servers run proactively. 

Security and Access Control

Security is incredibly important in any SME, which lowers the chance of cyberattacks that could result in significant financial or reputation damage. To protect against these threats, SMEs should implement a range of security measures as follows:

  • Regular security software updates: Ensuring the servers stay updated with the latest security patches and software updates is critical in minimising the risks of cyber attacks. 
  • Implement access controls: SMEs should always implement limited access to servers, ensuring that unauthorised personnel aren’t able to access the servers. This can be through implementing password policies, multi-factor authentication, and role-based access control (RBAC) to manage user permissions. 
  • Monitoring access logs: Monitoring access logs can help detect if anyone has access to your server data and will detect any unusual activity. 
  • Regular backups: Regularly backing up data is essential in minimising the impact of cyberattacks should they ever happen. A backup to restore to, like cloud storage or offline hard drive storage, will ensure that data can quickly be recovered.
  • Use firewalls and encryption: Implementing firewalls and encryption can provide additional security to protect servers and data from cyber-attacks. 
  • Educate employees: For any employees monitoring server usage, it is important to teach them how to identify phishing attempts and create strong passwords to minimise the risk of human error leading to a security breach.
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Security control is extremely important in protecting SMEs’ sensitive data. Regularly reviewing and updating these measures will help SMEs stay updated with the latest security threats. 

In Summary

There are many ways to implement effective server management into your SME. 

Hopefully, these tips have helped give you some ideas for implementing practices into your SME. 

What server management tips will you be incorporating?