A good IT admin maintenance schedule will help ensure that your business runs smoothly and you don’t waste a lot of your IT budget “fighting fires”. The following checklist will help you get your own maintenance schedule in order and cut down on some of the more common support tasks.
Effectively your last line of defence against a data disaster, checking the status of overnight backup jobs should be one of your highest priorities. In fact, you should probably check the status of incremental jobs every day. Examine job logs to see if there are any particular errors or files that are consistently failing to backup. Wherever you spot an issue, resolving it should be a priority.
As part of your weekly routine, perform a test recovery action to ensure that your backup jobs are completing without corruption, your media is still healthy and that the process works smoothly.
Check free disk space
As your business collects and processes more data, your servers risk running out of free capacity. Worse still, as your hard drives reach capacity, the performance of your servers will deteriorate. By keeping track of disk space usage you can plan capacity increases in advance. You can also better estimate future requirements based on how much additional storage is used each week.
You can find out how much free space is left on a drive quickly using the fsutil command line tool:
fsutil volume diskfree C:
Check event logs
Your servers should know when something is wrong before you do, leaving you helpful clues in the Event Log. Make sure you check through the errors and warnings at least once a week to spot anything that indicates a significant problem is on the horizon. As before, fixing these errors should be a priority to avoid outages and unexpected downtime.
Busy servers have thousands of entries in the event log every day. Use the Filter Current Log facility (available under the Action menu) to show only warnings and errors. You can get more specific by specifying Event source or even Event IDs if you want to be more specific.
Your desktop PC estate also needs to be checked routinely to ensure that there are no security breaches coming from within your network. Check your antivirus logs to identify any PCs which may have been compromised, and that all machines are running the latest virus definitions. You should be able to deploy updates and installations from the central console, but where there are problems, ensure that a support call is logged to have a technician resolve the issue locally.
You can minimise virus definition deployment issues by configuring the client software to access files from your central repository, rather than each trying to download direct from your vendor. This will also prevent excessive bandwidth use that could affect mission critical systems. This is by no means a complete list, but these tasks will help you get your weekly maintenance cycle off to a good start. What other tasks would you add to this list?