Thursday, August 21, 2014

Check Your Server!

Surviving in a digital world is not just about plugging in some technology, hoping it works, and never looking at it again.
Unfortunately, this is what a lot of people do with their server.  They have someone bring it in, configure it, and then it sits there… humming away, doing whatever it is that servers do.
Unfortunately, that's not really what should happen.  A server, just like any computer, needs to be monitored and checked from time to time.  I'm surprised how many offices never check their server.  Many times it was installed by an IT professional and no one has touched it since that day.
Servers are just bigger more powerful computers and they require OS updates and program updates too.
I know I'm a little bit over the top when it comes to technology and I don't expect everyone who reads this to be like me (that's why you have me, for crying out loud).  However, it would behoove you to set aside a some time to check your server and make sure everything is up to snuff.  I would say probably something like once a week would be adequate. Maybe on your last day in the office for the week, before you leave for the day, just take a few minutes and have the server check for updates by running Windows update.  Check your logs & just overall make sure everything is OK.
Why am I making this post now?  Because I lost a hard drive in my server last week.  Now, I check my server every night before I head home.  I know that's a little in the overkill department, but that's what makes me, me.  Anyway, as I did my check, I noticed that I had a warning message that one of my server's hard drives had failed.  My server has 4 hard drives and RAID configuration.  While I won't go into all the boring details, suffice it to say that the hard drives basically back each other up.  So, losing one hard drive is not that big of a deal.  However, losing two can be, so knowing that a drive has failed ASAP is a good thing.  If it went unnoticed and then a second one failed, disaster could be in the wings, so checking frequently is just a good idea.
When I noticed the failure, I was on the phone with the IT people at Goetze Dental.  They sent a tech out, replaced the hard drive, and we were up and functioning at full speed again in no time.
Just because I'm a tech-head and a gear-head doesn't mean I'm immune to the same problems that plague everyone else.  My attitude is "I make mistakes, tell you about them, and hopefully you learn & don't make the same mistakes that I make".  In this case, I didn't make a mistake, but if I hadn't found the problem when I did, it would have been a major mistake.
Check your server!  You'll be glad you did!

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