As the Resolve install engineer, I am the technician onsite when servers are upgraded. Consequently, I have a pretty good idea of the sort of issues you need to consider when it’s time for a new server. I thought I’d consolidate my top five observations and put them in blog for you here.
Plan for downtime Planned downtime is a period during which a company’s IT operations are temporarily restricted to complete upgrades, repairs and other changes. If you notify staff of downtime ahead of the outage they can plan their day-to-day activities around it, rather than being caught out in the middle of a task.
Set expectations internally Users need to understand the implications of a server upgrade and expect that there might be potential issues. With the best effort of any IT team performing a server upgrade, the plan is always to keep problems to a minimum. But, being realistic, from time to time snags do happen, and if everyone is aware that this may occur, it allows for a calmer environment in the event of something not going to plan. From my experience, it also allows the engineers performing the upgrade to work better knowing that people are aware of what could happen.
Use it as a time to “cleanse” your network Have you ever thought “I’ll just pop that file there and when I am done I won’t forget to delete it” but then forgotten to delete it anyway? Well, when 20 people are all having the same thought, you’d be surprised at how quickly the file server can fill up unnecessarily. Take the time to delete the files that you know you don’t need. Or even better, create an archive on some storage and keep it for a year or so and come back to review it when necessary. Don’t keep it all locked up on the main server.
Future maintenance Now that you have a plush new network, it is a great idea to plan in maintenance to ensure optimum performance. It’s a bit like servicing your car, except your network needs a lot more attention than once every 10,000 miles. Ensuring you have a plan and your IT provider are onboard, this will hopefully mitigate future risk of any major issues. It will also make sure you are fully patched and your network is protected against external threats, which nowadays are becoming more and more of a concern.
Consider room for expansion When in conversation with your IT provider, don’t think about the here and now, think about the current rate of growth and whether your server will be able to hold the amount of data you increase by each day. More people tends to mean more resource being used. Always consider what your business might look like in three to five years and make sure you have a network that is ready for the change. Under specification will come back and bite you and it’s much more difficult in three years to add resource to your server when everything has been settled and running smoothly for such a long time.