When we first meet with a new or potential client we have to gauge the “health” of their current infrastructure. I thought we would share with you the top five things we look at when assessing the relative health of the systems:
1. IT Red Lights
At first glance, the thing we always keep a look out for is the colour red. Red or amber warning lights on the front of a server or any other hardware are a tell-tale sign that there is a hardware problem, which could become a serious problem. Although pretty, these glowing bulbs tell of potential physical disk problems or other issues. Warning LEDs should be investigated and dealt with straight away.
2. Windows Updates
Updates should be running on servers and desktop machines on a regular basis. These updates are integral to the security and future stability of your systems.
3. Poor IT Security
In general, poor IT security is one of the biggest risks to networks and systems in businesses. We always check the configuration of routers and firewalls, and ensure antivirus is correctly configured and updating correctly. Staying one step ahead of the most advanced malware is always a challenge, but badly configured security and antivirus makes things easy for intruders.
4. Age of the Server
We always check the age of the server when getting to know a client’s infrastructure. This can generally be identified by checking the serial number on the manufacturer’s website. As a server gets older, there are a number of things that need to be considered. First of all, the server will have had more updates to the operating system, reducing the overall performance of the system. Secondly – more seriously – replacement parts may be harder to source and thus any physical problems could take a lot longer to rectify, which increases the risk of extended downtime.
5. IT Backups
Despite having carried out all the checks above, there are still times when an unexpected event occurs, resulting in having to turn to the backup / restore process. Checking that the backup is working is critical. If you take it for granted that the backup is working without checking and testing it on a regular basis, then you are running the risk of losing all your business data. Could your organisation survive if the worst was to happen? Most wouldn’t, and a simple check to ensure data can be recovered gives you the peace of mind that even in the event of a catastrophic disaster your business could continue to operate.
If - after running these checks - you are concerned about parts of your IT infrastructure and you'd like some further advice, do give us a call on 0114 299 4050 or fill out your details below.