Managed IT Services
Servers are a key component of any business network. They are required to be installed and maintained properly as they are critical to staying in business and staying profitable. Having reliable, secure servers provide the peace of mind necessary to allow businesses to focus on their specialties.
Server maintenance is the process of keeping a server software updated and running so that a computer network can operate smoothly and avoid downtime or loss of data. Regular maintenance will keep the server running as expected and will help avoid a total or partial network failure. It includes tasks such as reviewing the server’s performance, ensuring that automated system monitoring utilities are properly installed and configured, identifying potential security risks and backing up data at regular intervals.
How Servers Work
A server is a standalone computer that provides data and other services to one or several other computers on a given network. The main benefit is that it allows centralized management and monitoring of network access and network data. Servers can have power, hard drive and processor redundancies that are typically not available in a PC.
Types of Servers
A central storage for files, which can be accessed by client computers.
Responds to security authentication requests (logging in, checking permissions, etc.) within the network. A domain is a concept where a user may be granted access to a number of files, folders, network locations with the use of a single username and password combination and can prevent certain users from accessing other private files.
Remote Desktop (Terminal) Server
A Remote Desktop Server (or Terminal Server) provides secure remote access to office and line of business applications to employees or contractors from one centralized server, instead of having each client computer running software. This makes deploying software and adding more employees very scalable and cost-effective.
Stores and shares websites over the Internet; many individuals and small companies rent web server space from other companies, but for large companies that experience a lot of traffic, a dedicated web server makes sense.
It is common to hear the terms backup and replication used interchangeably – and it is easy to see why. Backing up a file, folder, application, or even an entire system, involves some replication. It is important, however, to understand that there are distinct differences between the two—important distinctions that impact how you can integrate them into your disaster recovery strategy.
What Is Data Backup?
Put simply, a backup is a copy of computer data taken and stored elsewhere so it can be restored if data loss occurs. It is a copy of your files, folders, as well as, your applications and unstructured data. While we are all quite familiar with the term, backup solutions span a wide range of technologies. Now considered ancient technologies — tapes, floppy disks, CDs, and USB sticks were once the standard. Today, you are most likely to store your backups on a server, in a cloud, or a hybrid of the two. The proper solution depends on your unique requirements but the critical takeaway here is that you need to have a backup plan that works for your organization, especially with the growing amount of users working from home.
What Is Data Replication?
Data replication is defined pretty simply: it is the process of storing data in more than one site or node — most likely using a server, cloud, or hybrid storage solution. Replicating your backups to at least one remote server or cloud is the insurance that protects you should you lose your data due to a successful ransomware or malware attack, or other data disaster. Hybrid solutions take your protection to an even higher level by replicating your backups to both a remote server and the cloud.
Today’s businesses depend not just on physical PCs and servers, but also on a variety of cloud-based virtual machines and storage services. They also often have mobile devices that constantly move throughout their networks. And network configurations change constantly as devices come and go offline.
In this type of environment, it is critical to deploy a centralized endpoint monitoring and management solution. Endpoint monitoring automates the processes of tracking, controlling and securing the various types of endpoints that exist within a given network.
What is Endpoint Monitoring and Management?
Endpoint monitoring and management is a practice that helps track and control all of the endpoints on a network.
In modern networks, endpoints could be physical devices such as PCs, servers or smartphones. But they could also be software-defined entities like virtual machines or gateways to cloud-based storage services.
Endpoint monitoring and management helps IT staff keep track of all of these network locations and monitor information such as where endpoints are located on the network, which software is running on each endpoint, which network ports are exposed by the endpoint, and other valuable insights.
In addition to helping businesses maintain visibility into their networks, endpoint monitoring and management helps prevent disruptions to business operations (which could be caused by events such as lack of connectivity for mobile devices that employees depend on), as well as identify and prevent security issues on the network (like an endpoint that has unsecured open ports).
Benefits of Endpoint Monitoring
Endpoint monitoring helps detect vulnerabilities on individual devices. If an insecure device is found, it can be isolated from others in order to prevent potential attacks.
With endpoint monitoring, businesses are better positioned to understand what is happening on their networks: How many devices there are, which types of devices they are, how often they are used, how much bandwidth they are consuming and so on.
Maintaining visibility into network endpoints can help IT teams onboard new users and their associated devices. For example, teams will know which subnet and IP address to use for a new device.
Endpoint monitoring plays a role in identity and access management, or IAM, by helping businesses determine which users should have access to which endpoints, and what levels of access they should have.