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My Intro | What is server management?

My Intro | What is server management?

Nowadays it is really easy to set up a server, with much of the essential server management functions you need available via auto-install. Servicing your server is a different matter, keeping tabs on maintenance plus performance and utilization levels can be time-consuming. It gets even more difficult to perform server administration when your operations include multiple servers. Tapping into a single vendor can trap you, consider using a mix of vendors for your server operating systems.

Manual management across big installations is time-consuming, you simply cannot manually log into server administration consoles on a machine by machine basis. Server management software are therefore crucial to successful management procedure. Most of these tools come with remote administration and machine monitoring, enabling you to manage machines across a range of sites in an efficient manner.

What is server management?

Server management, an essential activity for data center administrators, is a challenging topic. This is because the term server management can be used to refer to managing physical server hardware, virtual machines or many types of application servers and database servers. All of these needs to be managed – constantly.

Adding complication, there are many types of server management tools and server management services that can help administrators to keep servers of all types working properly. The best server monitoring software applications provide system management application capabilities that serve an array of different use-cases. Let’s look at server management in-depth.

Server Management Basics

  • Regardless of the type of server that is being managed, there are a number of basic fundamentals.
  • Access. In order to manage a server, a server management tool, server management service or server management software needs to be able to access the server it is trying to manage.
  • Updates. Among the most basic server management functions is the ability to help start and install software or firmware updates.
  • Setup. The ability to setup new software, add-ons or functionality is often a core feature of server management. Monitoring. Providing the capability to monitor different types of servers for status, performance and anomaly detection.
  • Optimization. Some server management tools and services will also provide optimization capabilities to improve server efficiency and overall operations.
  • Capacity planning. A more advanced feature is some cases is capacity planning which provides a forecast of server utilization,helping administrators to plan for when additional resources will be required.
  • Alerting. The ability to alert an administrator, via email, SMS, slack or some other messaging system to different errors and incidents is another helpful component of server management.

Benefits of server management services from lepakshimedia

  • Server work done right, by experts. You should always leave the server work to professionals that do it on a daily basis and have the experience, skills, and know-how of managing servers. That way you get your peace of mind knowing that your server is managed properly by people who know what they are doing.
  • Fewer costs. Instead of hiring a full-time system administrator (which can be quite costly), you can get a server management plan and save hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars on a monthly basis. Some server providers offer a ‘managed service’ as an add-on to their servers, but it often is much more expensive than getting managed services from a 3-rd party provider.
  • Fewer worries. Why should you worry about updates and security of your server 24/7 when you can have experts taking care of your server? No need to stay updated on the latest security patches and releases, your server will be taken care of.
  • Quick(er) turnaround time. Depending on the provider itself and the experience of the sysadmins involved, the turnaround time for server issues and tasks is fairly quick. So instead of wasting hours on troubleshooting and research, you can have experts work on your server and fix any issues in a matter of minutes. This still depends on the severity and complexity of the issue itself, but when com
  • 24/7 availability. Most server management companies are available 24/7 (at least we are) and this is closely related to the quick turnaround time. It’s 3 AM in the middle of the night on a Saturday? No problem. We are available and ready to help.pared, having expert server managers working on your server is far quicker than doing it yourself.

Choosing server management tools

You are likely to continue using the management tool you choose for a long period of time, so it is worth carefully considering your choice. Factors you should keep in mind include:

Vendor compatibility

Yes, you may be satisfied with your current hardware provider, but as you upgrade and renew your machines you may change providers or introduce a mix of providers. Don’t choose a server monitoring tool which restricts you to a specific provider. Even if all your equipment is from a single vendor try to ensure long-term flexibility by buying a tool that is compatible with multiple vendors.

Server monitoring overheads

Every piece of software consumes resources, including server management and checking software. Vendors are often very open about the size of business that their tool is aimed at though some vendors will try to make a tool that fits all sizes. Nonetheless, in most cases, a tool is likely to fit clients with operations that are a certain size. Importantly, you should avoid getting a tool which slows down your operations or which generates too much traffic on your network. Not sure what the resource impact of a tool will be? Many vendors offer trial periods on their software, try it out first.

Match your server administration requirements

Different software come with different features, try to match the tool you buy to your company’s oversight needs. Thought an extremely comprehensive package may look attractive, you should be careful not to buy software that you will never use. For small environments buy a simple tool, for larger environments consider a tool which can deal with the complexity and which includes group-management functionality. However, never buy a tool that is too complicated as you may end up not using it.

Server management roles

It is useful to be able to grant restricted access to management consoles, even if there is just a single sysadmin looking after servers. You can, for example, give management staff the ability to directly view reports so that they can draw their own conclusions. Or, you may in future employ an assistant in which case you would need your junior employee to access functionality without giving full control to your assistant.

Scaling server monitoring

Your computing requirements may change in future. Smaller outfits should consider buying a cut-down edition of a tool which is made for large operations. Should you need to upgrade you can simply step up inside the product family, so you don’t need to retrain. Packages which only work with smaller environments may mean that you will need to switch vendors later on which can involve a learning curve.

Automating server management processes

With the complex server environments so common nowadays the mere ability to perform checking is no longer enough. Instead, you need to be able to automate the regular server administration tasks that are so time-consuming. Good software can reduce much of the server administration tasks down to simply checking logs. It’s a job that gives the opportunity for interns to gain knowledge while freeing up the time of expensive sysadmins.

Server monitoring options

There’s no question that overseeing your infrastructure is important, but you don’t need to spend a large amount of money to get really good insight into your servers. One way to obtain good value is by combining software, including application and network control.

At a basic level, software will simply show you the state of your servers including facts such as processor use and disk space utilization. These are important facts, but they do not always give much insight into the actual user experience. Note that just focusing on machine statistics may mean that you don’t see other important factors, including network performance or the uptime of your cloud service providers.

In essence performance oversight is a large remit and it is worth using a complete system which can take care of all your IT requirements so that you have a better idea of all the tweaks you need to perform to ensure your infrastructure is in good shape.

You will be doing a lot of reading as you search for a machine monitoring package but you will never really understand a server monitoring system without giving it a try, first-hand. Thankfully most server management/monitoring software give you the option to try them free of charge so that you can test the tools included. As a result, you can make a much more accurate assessment as to whether a particular tool is a good fit for you.

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