Hardware, software, and facility issues may cause the server to malfunction. Through correct agreement and preventive maintenance, the number of server failures and troubleshooting time can be reduced.
Server failure is a common problem that affects organizations of all types and sizes. The cost of server downtime also includes the time when the system cannot access critical business data. This can cause operational problems, service interruptions, and repair costs.
Potential causes of failures may originate from server hardware, software, or data center facilities. If you understand the possible causes of server failure, you can solve the problem before the failure occurs and avoid downtime altogether. However, if a server failure does occur, the organization’s best contingency plan is better.
What caused the server to fail?
If an alert is received or a failure is found, the first step in resolving a server failure is to determine how and why the server failed; the time for the organization to implement this operation may be the difference between the number of minutes and days of downtime. Common causes of server failure include:
• Overheat – If the server is running at an excessively high temperature, it may cause performance degradation or malfunction.
• Hardware problem – Sometimes hardware components can be damaged. This may be due to actual component failure, such as battery failure or hard drive failure, cooling system failure, or equipment aging.
• Software issues – Outdated operating systems may crash under high-load operations, and uncensored patches may cause errors or data corruption. Software upgrades and updates may also fail and cause new problems.
• The system is overloaded – Peak traffic hours and complete server logs can cause system overload and failure.
• Network attacks – Lack of network security or outdated, unsupported operating systems can make servers vulnerable to cyber attacks, which can paralyze or crash the server.
• Natural disaster – Earthquakes, fires, floods and thunderstorms can cause serious damage to the network system and cause service interruption.
How to prevent common server failures
Constant reboots and sudden slowness indicate that the server is malfunctioning. The more clearly you can see these signs, the faster you can act. Server monitoring software can help organizations maintain normal server operations, closely monitor critical systems, and get alerts for any potential problems.
In addition to the monitoring tool set, you can also perform preventive maintenance steps to ensure that the server is running properly.
- Ensure the best ambient temperature. The server needs proper ventilation and temperature control to avoid overheating. Check whether there is dust on the inner and outer surfaces, and adjust the temperature setting as needed.
- Perform routine maintenance. Hardware problems are often the most difficult to predict and prevent because they can happen randomly. Need to pay attention to the service life of each server, perform routine disk checks, and update/upgrade the system regularly. When the service life of the server expires, all obsolete parts or machines are replaced. Predictive analysis can also help identify when parts may fail.
- Install updates regularly. Install software, operating system updates and patches regularly. This maintains performance and protects the server from easily exploitable software vulnerabilities.
- Maintain strict access control and detailed event logs. Human error is almost impossible to eliminate. The use of automation technology can minimize human error, but still requires human intervention. To reduce risks, strictly record the personnel who can access the server room and management software. The organization should also keep a detailed event log and check it regularly.
- Monitor performance trends. Through continuous performance monitoring checks, organizations can better predict the resources required during peak periods and determine low performance, which may indicate impending failure. These trends may also reveal potential hardware and software issues or areas of the server room that require additional cooling. Make sure to maintain log files, empty the recycle bin, delete files in temporary folders, and defragment hard disk tasks to maintain performance levels and avoid system overload.
- Develop a server emergency plan. Redundancy is an important part of preventing downtime caused by server failure. The server emergency plan should establish available auxiliary hardware, such as multiple power supplies, redundant memory, and backup servers.
- Design disaster and data recovery plan. In the event of natural disasters or security breaches, disaster recovery plans and data recovery plans will save the enterprise from prolonged downtime and catastrophic data loss, and it is essential to develop a backup plan in the worst case.
How to troubleshoot and recover from server failures
Even if the server fails during preventive maintenance, managers can take some steps to effectively recover. In addition to restarting, there are visual cues and diagnostic software that can be used to find possible causes.
Once the root cause is determined, you can switch to the backup server and take the necessary steps to repair the failure.