Server management is the monitoring and upkeep of different types of servers within a network. This requires that administrators and IT technicians can access the hardware and software that host servers, making necessary repairs, configurations, and updates. Server management varies between different types of servers, but it can include:
- Running hardware and software monitoring services to notice trends and issues as they arise
- Making sure that system memory (both primary, or main, and secondary) is running at optimum speed and isn’t overtaxed
- Providing data about applications so that administrators can see if they are performing well
- Installing new hardware and software when needed and making system and software updates when they first arise
- Backing up server systems and data
Types of servers
There are many servers, but these are a few of the most well-known:
- Application servers host apps and connect with another server, such as a database server, to make data available to application users
- Web servers host websites and pages and make them available to clients
- Database servers store and manage large quantities of data
- Virtual servers save hardware and computing resources by hosting multiple servers on one piece of hardware in a process called server virtualization
- Proxy servers monitor network traffic as it passes between clients and other servers
Server management for organizations
Server management practices vary depending on the types of servers on which a company hosts networks and resources. Some servers are on-premise pieces of hardware; others are handled by a cloud service provider and managed in a data center. Still others are virtual. Server management can be tricky just because there are so many different aspects of servers to manage, but it’s important for businesses that have a lot of technology and a lot of data.
Server management can save companies money and reputation. If a web server takes a long time to respond to client requests, its host business can lose customers. Regular server maintenance can help prevent that. Proper backups and disaster recovery plans for servers can also save a business’s data. Regular system updates and configurations make viruses and malware less likely. In contrast, not updating applications and system versions regularly provides a possible path for an attacker to damage the server and its performance.
Good server management tools should provide plenty of detailed, thorough data about how the system is running. It should ideally automate processes to take some of the work off IT technicians and provide more accurate insights. It should also alert server administrators when there’s a new update or suspicious activity.