The Basics of Preventative Maintenance and Monitoring for Your Network
"An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure"
Cliché – but true. And when it comes to your own IT, nothing could be further from the truth.
We consistently receive calls to fix network problems that could easily have been prevented with a proactive approach to monitoring a network. The fees paid to us to repair urgent and adhoc issues far outweigh the monthly costs for a Maintenance and Monitoring Service (MMS). This doesn’t even account for the costs associated with the business disruption (e.g., lost productivity, lost sales). We will provide a case study from a recent emergency call in our next article.
But first, for readers new to this concept, MMS entails 3 core elements:
- Monitoring software scans your servers 24/7 for 1,000+ conditions that could suggest a problem or failure is occurring. As issues arise, they are categorized based on the severity of the issues.
- Maintenance processes and software ensure your servers receive regular updates, patches (including urgent security patches) as soon as they are released to prevent issues.
- Your IT provider is placed on a retainer to proactively resolve issues before they impact your business or to fix critical issues immediately (often your employee will never notice a problem existed).
Provided below are five examples of issues that can impact your operations, and cost your business thousands of dollars that could easily have been curtailed with an MMS that costs less than $500/month.
|Server crashes because it runs out of disk space.||→||Your IT provider is alerted when a disk is 90% disk full so steps are taken to add disk capacity prior to running out of space.|
|Mailboxes on a Microsoft Exchange database become full so you can no longer send or receive email.||→||Your IT provider is alerted when the database is reaching 90% capacity so steps are taken to delete or properly archive old emails and and/or increasing the size of your mailbox.|
|A service stops running on your server (e.g., email, database, licensed software) limiting the productivity of your employees.||→||Your IT provider receives an alert. They can then quickly determine why the service stopped and take appropriate steps to restart the service.|
|Your anti-virus software is not up to date or disabled for some reason (e.g., an employee may have disabled it manually; your network is infected with a virus that disables your anti-virus software)||→||Your IT provider is alert of this issue. They can take action to examine the root cause and suggest corrective actions to address the issue.|
|An employee hacks their iPhone (referred to as “jailbreaking” or “rooting”) to install unauthorized software creating a security breach that exposes you to a hacker.||→||Monitoring software detects the unauthorized activity allowing your IT provider to remotely lock the phone.|
The core benefits of having an MMS in place:
- Your network will be much easier to service, diagnose and resolve issues once they do arise
- You eliminates/reduce emergency on-site or off-hours visits which are costly
Be on the lookout for our next article. We will share a true story that illustrates how an MMS service could have saved a recent client thousands of dollars and eliminated significant head aches.
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