With companies immersed in the digital transformation and producing data like never before, increasingly good server management, whether referring to dedicated servers or virtual servers, becomes a key requirement to stay competitive in the marketplace.
It is the optimization of this management that enables a broader view of server health and utilization, monitoring performance and identifying security holes. New technology solutions, such as virtualization capabilities and automation tools, contribute to a considerable reduction in the error margin, especially in the most recurring and necessary tasks like upgrades and backups.
Server management involves way more than just pinging equipment to assess its availability. Corporate IT managers should be aware of the physical health of servers, their energy consumption, their existence in the data center, and the number of virtual tenants they host at any given time, among other useful and necessary parameters.
The Role Played by AI
With the rise of virtual servers and their capabilities, so is growing the amount of data that is produced by server management tools, which then needs to be analyzed to lead to improvements or to stop any flaws or issues. However, the sheer amount of data makes it almost impossible for humans to possibly draw any useful conclusions.
According to Jasmine Noel, IT analyst from Ptak, Noel and Associates, new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be very important for this:
“From a monitoring perspective, existing tools can collect and display data management of virtual equipment – but the trick is to use intelligence to effectively analyze all this data.”
More than that, AI-based predictive analysis will make it easier for data centers to distribute workload across the servers that are available at each given time. By harnessing the power of AI, these tools can learn from past events, actions, and decisions, making them more effective at each iteration and, consequently, making the data center loads easier to predict and manage.
In possession of all this new knowledge, companies will be able to do a better job at tracking important indicators such as dedicated server hosting performance, disk usage or network problems. This, along with all the other benefits that arise from improved monitoring, reporting and decision making, eventually results in a scenario of maximum server optimization.
Another important course of action for AI in the enterprise server management industry has to do with failure prediction. In this industry, downtime has the potential to cause critical financial losses to any company. With this in mind, having the capability of detecting failures before they happen can be thought of like the Holy Grail of this industry.
This should not, of course, be taken literally – AI is great, but cannot (yet?) predict the future. What it can do, however, is take certain actions whenever a failure or problem occurs, so that the failure can be contained and does not spread to other users or customers.
Humans Still Play Their Part
Despite all the technological evolutions that are entering the server management industry, people will still play an essential role in the process. In order for them to be properly prepared to execute their roles, there are a few main IT skills that they should master:
- TCP/IP: for someone who works with computers, knowing everything there is to know about one of the barebones of networks is crucial;
- OSI model: divides the functions of computer networks into seven layers of abstraction, with each protocol inserting a signed functionality to a specific layer. Using this type of model, it is possible to communicate between different machines and define generic directives for the elaboration of computer networks regardless of the technology used, be they short, medium or long-distance networks. Knowing the reasoning and context behind the layers will surely help IT professionals in their day-to-day activities;
- Programming: while IT professionals do not necessarily need to have all the skills of a programmer, having a minimum knowledge of coding is a good added value. Not only will overall communication with those programmers be easier, but it also helps IT professionals to be in the loop with less effort.
How to Improve Enterprise Server Management
An important question to pose when trying to improve is: how can dedicated hosting infrastructure and your organization impact business success? It can be said that the centralization of data and information on servers allows the creation of more agile and efficient processes, increasing the performance of professionals and their productivity.
The use of enterprise servers is well regarded by the market, giving a more professional image and suitable for business management. There are some points where improvement will be readily apparent, such as information organization, security, data sharing, and IT management.
Organizing the information will be useful for the company to easily locate files and avoid losing them. Security will be critical to protecting computers from malware, viruses, and other threats.
Data sharing will allow information to be exchanged between teams. Finally, IT management will have simpler processes, making installing a new program or adding new users more efficient.
It is also important that companies have a steady server management routine. This will ensure that periodic maintenance is carried, thus eliminating potential problems and constantly optimizing company processes.
Being prepared in advance is always a good idea so that unexpected expenses can be avoided, and a constant update of the company’s technologies can be ensured. Knowing this, it is key to take time to plan the next management steps. Be sure to include the financial costs for the operation, already deducting what the new implementation offers.
At this point, it is important to plan the acquisition of hardware and software according to the projected business expansion. This will require you to talk to other company departments, but it will ensure that your company is not paralyzed waiting for the necessary resources.
Last but not least, another important practice is to create a contingency plan, as in practical terms, it is important to be prepared for the worst and have a plan B. Put simply, a few questions should be posed, such as: What will be done if there is an intrusion to servers? If the company’s applications become unavailable, what actions will be needed to re-establish them quickly and with minimal loss?
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