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What kind of maintenance is required for an IT infrastructure?

Q:

What kind of maintenance is required for an IT infrastructure?

A:

IT infrastructure maintenance is the key to ensuring business continuity. The IT industry follows certain standard IT infrastructure maintenance principles with a few variances, and the same standards are relevant in the context of various organizations. These practices can be customized based on the unique context of individual organizations.

IT infrastructure maintenance can be divided into four broad areas: server, desktop, backup and security. The maintenance operation frequencies are real-time, daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly, as needed.

Server

Server maintenance involves:

  • Investigating known and unknown server errors on the basis of solutions applied in the past and fresh investigations, respectively
  • Regularly applying critical patches and updates and then testing servers regressively
  • Regularly updating anti-virus and ensuring the anti-virus protection is working
  • Regularly checking disk space and all relevant partitions as well as keeping track of all free disk space thresholds and configuring alerts for free disk space threshold breaches
  • Ensuring that server performance is optimal by regularly examining disk I/O, RAM, CPU and fragmentation

Desktop

Desktop maintenance involves:

  • Regularly monitoring the Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) to ensure that all critical patches are applied
  • Regularly updating anti-virus and ensuring anti-virus protection is working
  • Auditing desktops for compliance with IT policies. For example, approved and unapproved software, internet usage, approved websites and disk space.

Backup

Backup maintenance involves:

  • Monitoring backup notifications
  • Maintaining backup media and escalating any issues with backup media

Security

Security maintenance involves:

  • Regularly auditing firewall logs to identify any suspicious activity
  • Implementing forced change of passwords at regular intervals by all users at the company
  • Backing up firewall configurations
  • Testing the security system periodically by simulating internal and external intrusions and noting observations

Apart from the points mentioned above, there may be some specific maintenance requirements for particular IT infrastructures, and that should be defined by the organization itself. Last but not least, an escalation matrix should be defined for escalating issues whenever required. This will streamline the entire process and the maintenance job will be much easier.

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Kaushik Pal

Kaushik is a technical architect with 15 years of experience in enterprise applications and product development. He has expertise in Web technologies, architecture/design, Java/J2EE, open source and Hadoop/big data technologies.

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