IT Infrastructure and Server Support

Business Server Support Challenges

Deploying Servers for Business

In the past, and for many businesses even today, having a server was considered a must, especially when multiple users needed to access common data, documents and applications. Over the decades, the terminology has evolved and the range of solutions available to businesses in terms of how data and documents are made available.

In recent years, due to continuously evolving microchips and software, a new range of solutions has emerged, making the decision to deploy servers and having a classic infrastructure a bit more complicated.

Nevertheless, in many cases having an infrastructure that includes one or more servers – either deployed as a hardware or virtual machines – is undoubtedly the way forward.

That being said, managing and supporting such infrastructures remains a challenge, given the complex nature of the technologies involved.

Preterion - server support

Server Support When Multiple Solutions Available

Designing and deploying a business infrastructure must be done with the outcome relative to the business objectives and the projected usage. Failing to consider these aspects can generate two potential problems. One is the final cost of deploying the infrastructure, which can go up by a lot. The second is the ongoing cost of maintaining and managing the infrastructure, caused by unnecessary complexity or the failure of the hardware to provide the resources for the load.

The times when only one solution was available – employing a “proper” server hardware supplier, are gone. Today, with the onset of virtualization, continuous backups and software-driven data replication, we have multiple choices, allowing us to use inexpensive hardware if suitable to the purpose.

Mini servers can deliver tremendous computing power, and deployments of clusters are available even to small businesses.

Server Support Comes After Design

Focusing first and foremost on correctly designing a solution has proven to be the best approach time and again when it comes to deploying IT infrastructures that perform well and are easy to maintain and support.

Even when we take over existing infrastructures, in our approach to server support, we start by looking at the overall design of the infrastructure and ask the hard questions before acting. 

Innovative Solutions

Challenging the status-quo whilst still using the industry best practice approach has proven extremely valuable for our customers and us in delivering high-performance infrastructures whilst maintaining a cost-effective server support environment.

Deployment of industrial fanless micro-servers or using arrays of no-name inexpensive hardware instead of expensive energy-hogging servers has proven valuable for large companies like Google and Facebook. Why would we not use such proven techniques for small businesses when the Open-Source community is sharing the knowledge for all of us to benefit from?

A Few Less Known Facts about Server Support

Operating systems such as Windows, macOS or Linux all have something in common: they get constantly updated as programmers find glitches, bugs and security vulnerabilities that need to be fixed. Hence, more or less regularly, updates (patches) are issued that need to be installed and sometimes configured to keep systems safe and functioning well. Although all aforementioned operating systems allow for the automated rollout of patches, there is a strong argument against it due to the potential corruption of systems during updates. PRETERION recommends a combination of automatic and human supervision and intervention to manage updates for the most efficient maintenance of servers and workstations.

Running servers as virtual machines evolved over the last 20 years to become almost the standard in delivering IT services worldwide. There are several benefits from virtualization worth mentioning:

  • More efficient use of resources can run several virtual servers onto a single piece of server hardware.
  • Effective separation of running environments - virtual machines act as independent servers, each with its own allocated resources.
  • Migration to newer hardware becomes an easy procedure, virtual machines being able to run seamlessly on various hardware servers generations.
  • Disaster recovery is improved greatly as support teams can restore virtual machines quickly from backups on dissimilar hardware.
  • Safer update rollouts are possible due to snapshots - a feature by which a virtual machine state is saved at a point in time, easily restored at a click of a button.

Monitoring a business IT infrastructure has many benefits - from observing trends in resource usage to knowing when something is about to go wrong. Having access to statistical data and historical error logs that are constantly monitored for specific events has the power to reduce the time to resolve incidents and problems tremendously.

Migrating to a cloud infrastructure has many advantages, one of which is reducing the size of your IT support team, as cloud infrastructures come with their own support structure. However, one should not forget that the cloud infrastructure is separated from the client-facing services. There are still parameters to monitor and observe, updates to be rolled out, and potential incidents and problems to be resolved. It is good practice to monitor as many aspects of a business IT infrastructure to ensure continuity and resilience of services.

As hardware evolves to become more miniaturised and powerful continuously, there has been a strong shift in moving from big and powerful server hardware towards smaller, compact hardware that can deliver almost the same computing power at a fraction of the cost. Combined with a good strategy to avoid using operating systems with a graphical user interface that consumes a tremendous chunk of the computing resources, business infrastructures can become nimble, less expensive and easier to maintain. In addition, the electric power footprint is reduced substantially, and businesses can participate in the effort to reduce our carbon footprint.

Don't waste your budget buying the wrong servers

LET US HELP YOU GET THE BEST SOLUTION

Our knowledge in hardware and software solutions allows us to assist customers in getting the best balance between budget and computing power.

3 Facts to Consider When Designing Your Infrastructure

On-site Servers
are still relevant

Whilst migration to cloud services is hugely beneficial for most businesses. It is advisable to consider a small on-site footprint of your IT infrastructure for two main reasons: improved business continuity and disaster recovery...

Cloud data safety
is not guaranteed

Everybody can agree that redundant systems are better. Consequently, having a hybrid environment with cloud replicas of the local stored data is a better choice as it ensures better resilience for the entire business...

Well designed
means working well

The decision to run a hybrid cloud environment comes with a few complications that we must overcome. However, taking the time to create the design of a business IT infrastructure has multiple benefits.

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