One of the primary factors that can slow down your business is server downtime. In many instances, downtimes are unanticipated and, therefore, take many companies by surprise. And if a swift response plan is not in place, consequences can be catastrophic.
Since we are all not tech-savvy, let’s level the technology playing field by defining server downtime. Downtime is a duration when a system fails to perform its primary function. You could say it’s a period when servers are offline or there is a network outage.
For some businesses, downtime is a minor inconvenience. But for others, the aftermath is devastating. Either way, server outage is an unwelcome surprise that many IT managers dread. Why? Even a minute of downtime can be costly. Downtime leads to lost revenue, SLA penalties, brand damage, loss of data, and lost opportunities.
Even though the risk of server downtime isn’t very far from businesses, using a solution like Linux kernel live patching can help fend off server outages. Live patching enables you to keep your Linux kernels updated without the need to reboot your system. It also boosts your system’s security against vulnerabilities that can cripple systems.
Is this the only solution to server downtime? No. There are several other ways to reduce server downtime for your business. Let’s find out.
The threat of downtimes can have crippling effects on business operations. To this end, businesses take every imaginable precaution to avert server downtime. But what causes server downtime? Below are the most common causes:
- Human error
- Software failure
- Equipment failure
- Natural disasters
Having seen the risk factors for server outage, we are better placed to look at ways to avert technical breakdowns.
A sure way to avert network disruptions is the formulation of an infallible system maintenance policy. Ensure that your policy covers when to perform maintenance and how to deal with possible hitches.
If your software is built internally, your internal team knows the drill when it comes to maintenance. The same case applies if your software is bought. External developers continually add patches to your system to curb the infiltration of security threats.
Ultimately, the maintenance procedure has to be flexible enough. If there is any notable disruption in the system, it should be addressed immediately. It doesn’t have to wait for the next scheduled maintenance.
By hosting your servers in the cloud, it helps you deter localized downtimes. With cloud hosting, you do not need to rely on on-premises hardware. While you might want to physically store part of your data, housing critical operations in a cloud server reduces downtime.
Moreover, cloud services have 24/7 support. Any network disruption can be arrested in time.
The most prominent aspect that you cover when training your employees is reporting IT issues promptly regardless of the severity. The training should not only be limited to IT personnel only. Why?
Assume an accountant is experiencing an issue with the accounting system. Being the system’s primary user, they are well-placed to promptly report issues they face way before an IT staff notices the problem.
Training should address issues reporting procedures. It should also cover the response plan when faced with downtime.
A proactive approach in your technology management reduces downtime. Risk audits identify potential vulnerabilities that can affect your system. Again, audits identify potential obsolescence in your hardware and software infrastructure. This way, you can plan ahead, averting unplanned downtime and expenditures.
Overworking your servers can contribute to an increase in downtime. Balance your work among several servers to reduce straining your system. Additionally, install a sturdy back-up plan to cover up for any unavailable node, especially when performing multiple tasks for a particular file.
Balancing ensures that the workload is distributed evenly and that no component is overloaded. This reduces slowdown and network outages.
Server downtime can be embarrassing, especially when it sabotages the company’s website. When servers are offline, customers can’t interact with your website. And if you are the customer, this inconvenience is more than a simple frustration.
While the above measures go a long way in averting network outage, businesses need to devise a downtime coping mechanism. Even though you take every preventive measure as a business, you must plan how to respond when faced with downtimes. The aim is to save the business from the loss of reputation and revenues.