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Server Maintenance, not just kicking tires and sending invoices

As a business owner, it is very common for me to evaluate where our company is spending money. In fact, as soon as we are “caught up” with the latest projects, one of the first things I do is audit our finances.  Where can we tighten up? Are we getting value for the services/products we are purchasing? This being said, I can certainly understand when a customer comes to us and needs to be re-assured they “need” IT/Server Maintenance.  The fact that they are coming to ask, is evidence that we are doing a great job of keeping their servers/IT infrastructure running.

Everything is running fine, why do I need to pay monthly?

Like a lot of other IT Companies, we invest a ton into the abstract term of “Maintenance”, including:

Server Maintenance

  • Reviewing, testing application/server patches to ensure the patches that the vendor (i.e. Microsoft) rolls out isn’t going to break the server.
  • Monthly patch installation, to avoid known security exploits and add stability.
  • Daily Virus Monitoring.  Not just installing and updating, but monitoring infections and status.
  • Daily hard drive health monitoring – No hard drive, means no data, which means everything grinds to a halt.
  • Daily/hourly performance monitoring.  These are crucial and help identify those issues that “creep up on you”, before they impact business
  • Automated tools to fix minor errors that can cause major issues. We’ve invested in tools that reduce IT costs by fixing minor issues that can take an hour or more of diagnosis and troubleshooting.

Backup Services

  • Daily backup status monitoring
  • Monthly backup testing
  • Disaster Recovery Consulting

Workstation Maintenance

  • Operating System patch testing and rollout.
  • Anti-virus monitoring, including infection/cleaning alerts.
  • Hard Drive and overall system health (Disk space, performance)
  • Remote access tools to reduce service time/costs.

With these tools and processes in hand, Server Maintenance is more than just tire kicking. In fact, it is difficult to quantify the value of maintenance without telling “doom and gloom” disaster stories. This service is, in so many cases, the only regular attention that your IT infrastructure receives.  This is the same infrastructure that supports payroll, data, finances, day to day applications, client information and mobile users. Spending audits are crucial to keeping a business lean and effective, but being lean on IT Infrastructure Maintenance is opening a business up to disaster recovery costs that easily dwarf the monthly maintenance costs.

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