How to Maximize Uptime With 5 Proactive Strategies
By: Alan Seal on January 1, 2019
Server downtime has the ability to cripple a business, inflicting serious financial costs as well as doing long-term damage to its brand reputation. It’s no wonder, then, that companies scrutinize their data providers’ service level agreements (SLA) to understand how often they can expect the information and platforms they need to be available. Since every moment of downtime carries quantifiable costs, it’s important for them to understand just how much risk their SLA presents (for a detailed breakdown, check out vXchnge’s SLA Uptime Calculator).
Fortunately, there are a number of proactive strategies data centers and other companies in the IT industry can use to maximize their network uptime. Here are 5 easy-to-implement suggestions for keeping servers running at peak efficiency.
5 Proactive Strategies to Maximize Uptime
Monitor Network Health
Knowledge is power when it comes to maximizing server uptime. Cloud deployments often experience heavy traffic and with edge computing bringing in data from multiple sources, it can be difficult to keep a network operating efficiently under such strains. Unexpected fluctuations in traffic can lead to increased power demands, which in turn affects cooling system performance. Moreover, hardware components occasionally fail, causing critical systems to go offline at the worst possible moments. By carefully monitoring network health with data center infrastructure management software and powerful business intelligence platforms, it’s possible to optimize performance and identify potential problems before they have an opportunity to bring the whole network crashing down.
Implement Machine Learning
The best way to avoid problems is to predict where and when they will occur and take proactive measures to deal with them on favorable terms. With powerful machine learning programs that analyze network performance and predict the likelihood of irregularities, IT professionals have a powerful tool to help them minimize downtime. Predictive analytics can review previous downtime incidents and suggest strategies for optimizing data centers in the future. They can also forecast the likelihood of equipment failures and spot the patterns behind potentially devastating cyberattacks long before they become evident to human observers.
Update Security Patches
Data centers are complex network environments with a myriad of security systems in place to safeguard against cyberattacks and maximize uptime. But these attacks are always changing, forcing cybersecurity specialists to develop patches for existing systems and programs to guard against previously unknown vulnerabilities. Ensuring that these patches are installed promptly and properly is an important task for IT personnel. Without the latest updates in place, data centers can easily fall victim to hackers looking to exploit known weaknesses in security protocols to compromise sensitive data.
Too often, organizations build the IT infrastructure they need for today rather than thinking about the network capabilities they’ll need in the future. If a network isn’t designed with growth and expansion in mind, it can very quickly run up against its own limitations as traffic increases. Without a plan for handling that extra traffic, overwhelmed servers can crash, resulting in significant downtime. By developing scalable solutions that allow network infrastructure to grow in keeping with business needs, companies can maximize uptime and keep delivering the services their customers expect. Data centers can help organizations by virtualizing servers and building out the power and cooling capacity to accommodate increases in traffic.
Sooner or later, something is bound to go wrong in any network infrastructure. Maybe an operating system crashes or a server component fails. Whatever the cause, these issues can bring network traffic screeching to a halt, leaving customers and companies unable to access their valuable data. The best way to guard against this eventuality is to identify what failures are most likely to occur and build redundancies into the network to ensure that the system will stay up and running no matter what happens. To minimize server downtime, a high-availability strategy utilizing several failover systems can be implemented in tandem with fault-tolerant systems that keep mission-critical operations backed up against almost every eventuality. A redundant network design that incorporates blended internet connectivity can also protect servers from crippling distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks that attempt to take systems offline.
With so many of today’s organizations staking their brand reputation on delivering reliable services, understanding how to implement strategies that maximize server uptime is more important than ever before. Fortunately, data centers provide an extensive array of tools and expertise for building robust network systems that take proactive measures to guard against the looming threat of server downtime. Whether a company relies on cloud computing services or is pushing the boundaries of their networks with edge computing strategies, data centers have the resources to help them maximize their IT infrastructure’s uptime.
About Alan Seal
Alan Seal is the VP of Engineering at vXchnge. Alan is responsible for managing teams in IT support and infrastructure, app development, QA, and ERP business systems.