When it comes to your business and your technology, we all want systems that are reliable. No one likes a problem when they need to get something done. You do not need to have a high end IT consultant to come in and help make your systems more reliable. You can focus on these 3 simple things and they will greatly help with your reliability.
- Backup Your Data – I’m not just talking about backing up your documents, but rather, backing up ALL of your data. Backup your servers using a platform that can do “bare metal” backups. Simply put, it backs up the entire server including Windows so you can recover the entire server if ever needed (and even boot it up on a laptop – not optimal, but better than no server access at all). You can also move to the Cloud which can mitigate the need for backups altogether. When thinking of your data, include things like firewall configurations and other systems that live in the server closet that can save a configuration file.
- Standardize – Pick the best of breed systems and use them. You may get a good deal on a laptop from Costco, but then if anything goes wrong (hardware issue anyone?), it takes a lot more effort to get it all working again when having to manage and document a host of different vendors and machines. Plus, giving the user a backup machine is usually much quicker if it is the same model. Standardize on the same computers, laptops, tablets, firewalls, servers, etc. You will thank me later.
- Redundancy – Having redundant systems ensure greater uptime and less of a chance for downtime. Do you need redundant internet connectivity? Maybe, and it is definitely worth looking in to. Just make sure it has two different technologies (for example, cable and fiber or even two different cable companies). If you have a server in your office, make sure it has redundant hard drives (RAID), redundant power, and redundant memory. Don’t forget to plug them in to redundant UPS battery backups too. Or better yet, retire the server and move to the Cloud since you cannot get more redundant than that.
I know this sounds a little daunting, but you can really do this if you spend the time to look into it. Whether you are working with an internal IT team or an outside IT firm, if you do not know what you have in place for these items, simply ask them for details. Hopefully you are already in good shape, but if you are not, you at least know what you should be doing.
Need a second opinion? Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d be glad to help.