Data Server Management Best Practices

hosted serverAs more and more individuals and businesses go to a paperless system of record-keeping and managing information, it is vital to know how to maintain and protect digital personal and business information.

A database is a collection of data, and a data server is a computer program used to provide database services that other computers and programs can access.

These servers can be vulnerable to outside manipulation and viruses, which can allow outside users to steal, damage, or destroy information. Understanding how to protect the integrity of a server will give you peace of mind, and avoid costly mistakes.

Basic Server Maintenance and Management

IT Engineer Inserts Backup TapeFirst, it is important to implement to basic computer maintenance. Run the disk-checking system monthly to scan for errors, bad sectors and other problems.

Remind employees to set their own computers to run system checks on a monthly basis and to report any problems they encounter with the data server.

Some database programs have their own maintenance program, which you should schedule to run regularly. Depending on the program, the user manual may recommend scans daily, weekly or monthly.

You should also run these standard checks and scans as a first step in troubleshooting when there are problems with the computers or the database itself.

The main computer from which the server is run should also be cleaned. The most important thing to remember is to keep the fan free of dust and dirt. If the fan does not run properly, it will not cool the CPU, and this could result in damage to the computer due to overheating.

Regular maintenance keeps hardware and software operating correctly and efficiently. This will also protect you from potentially devastating losses of information.

Backups

data backupThe next step to protecting information on a database server is regular back-ups. Schedule and run back-ups on a nightly, weekly or monthly basis to an external drive.

\Depending on the nature of your database, you may also want to use an offsite location or service for data back-up in case of unfortunate circumstances, such as disasters that result in loss of data.

Disaster recovery through an external location backup protects your information in multiple ways and ensures access to it in the unlikely case of a total server loss.

It is also a good idea to practice restoring the database from time to time, just to make sure the back-ups are working properly.

Internet Security

document scanning decreases security risksInternet security is an important aspect of server maintenance and security. There are a few different layers of protection you should have in place for your server.

First and foremost, keep computers in a secure room or building and lock doors and windows after hours.

Use an Uninterruptible Power Supply for servers, as this ensures the server will have emergency power if there is an outage.

Make sure the climate of the room where the server CPU is located is climate controlled and does not get too hot. It is also a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher in the room in case of an emergency.

Passwords

password securityPasswords are one of the most common ways to protect information, but hackers are becoming more familiar with ways to easily to decode weak passwords.

Encourage all users to create strong passwords to prevent unauthorized computer use.

Change default passwords that come with newly installed software and make sure all of them are unique.

The password for the server should not be the same as the password for your user name. Disable old user accounts for people who no longer require access.

Antivirus Software

The Internet can expose your identityAntivirus software will help prevent destructive viruses from ravaging your data. The server manager or network administrator and all employees should run their antivirus programs regularly to ensure that individual computers and the main CPU are protected.

Always download the latest security patches and antivirus program updates, as new viruses are created every day. The version of antivirus software that protects you today might not work on tomorrow’s newest form of cyber-attack.

Firewalls

Maintain a firewallstoring managing protecting electronic records encryption cloud electronic dms for both the data server and any computers that utilize it. A firewall prevents unauthorized parties from accessing your network. This is a very important security consideration with wireless communication.

Encryption offers another level of protection against outside threats. This encodes information so only authorized personnel can access and read it. Even if a hard drive is stolen, those parties still cannot view or change the information on it.

An ounce of prevention will go a long way toward maintaining the healthy functioning and security of your data server.

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