Systems Management – 10 top tips for peace of mind
#1 Ensure that your systems are operating within acceptable limits – check that disk
space is not approaching capacity, memory is not being overused or processors aren’t
too busy – any of these problems can cause system degradation. It’s also important to
have spare capacity for when bursts of processing or data manipulation are required.
Also make sure that network devices, including routers, switches and hubs are not
only visible but also functioning correctly.
Check that all your vital systems are up and running and available. Depending on your
type of business, these will include your email server, web server and your day-to-day
operational systems – for example; finance, sales, marketing and production. For a
business that depends on internet sales, having a reliable, available and working
website is essential, together with all the back end systems that ensure all orders are
processed, paid for and dispatched. If your operation covers multiple sites, check that
the communication links between sites are working and that remote sites have voice
and data contact.
Implement good security practices and review them frequently. Check regularly for
security breaches. Consider internal as well as external threats, by regularly reviewing
passwords and access controls.
Make sure that you have monitoring processes and procedures in place; automated
systems management tools will provide most of the services you need. However, if you
don’t yet have them, ensure that manual processes exist and are followed. And don’t
forget to review them periodically to ensure they are still in step with business needs.
101 Things You Can Automate On Your System i (iSeries) & 10 Top Tips For Peace Of Mind
© 2010 Halcyon Software Inc
Ensure that your communications systems are available and working. With many
telephone systems starting to be integrated into an IP network, it’s essential to ensure
that they are functioning correctly.
Implement and test your backup and restore procedures. In the event of an accident or
disaster it may be necessary to revert to a previous version of your data. Backups
need to be taken at least daily and a copy held off-site. As part of your disaster
recovery testing, check that backup media can be read and restored from. This simple
weekly check can give added peace of mind.
Regularly check the error reporting logs. Error reporting logs can give early warning of
a potential failure – for example disk read errors may pre-warn of an ailing disk drive.
An error status report can also indicate when a part of the system has stopped
Environmental monitoring is just as essential as equipment monitoring. A faulty air
conditioning unit can be as damaging to your business as the failure of a main server.
Keep comms rooms, cabinets and computer areas clean and tidy with easy visual and
physical access to equipment. Check power supplies aren’t being overloaded and
regularly test power backup devices.
Ensure events have happened to schedule. Check the status of scheduled jobs to
guarantee that they have been carried out and that thresholds aren’t being reached or
backlogs created in output queues – for example, print jobs or tape backups.
Employ an integrated monitoring system to give you a holistic view of the IT systems
and infrastructure. A central monitoring point gives an instant view of the status of all
important devices including servers, printers, hubs, routers and switches. With
automated alerts and reporting, it will help to ensure maximum availability and
performance from all your IT resources.