IT Maintenance is like flossing

 

Dental IT Support

IT Maintenance is like flossing your teeth. You can skip it, but eventually you’re going to bleed.

When you go into the Dentist for your bi-annual cleaning one of the questions you’re asked is “Have you been flossing?” Much to the chagrin of many Hygienists and Dentists a large majority of people do not regularly floss. According to the Washington Post, an average of 85-90% of American adults do not floss regularly [1]. The benefits of flossing are well known reduced plaque, reduced tooth decay, better breath (that’s an immediate benefit). Much like the health of your teeth, regular IT maintenance on your company network is just as important.[/one_half_last]

Do I really need to run Windows Updates on my systems?

Windows Updates are released not only for squashing bugs but they also help close security loop holes that have cropped up from hackers that compromise the security of your system and your network. There are literally hundreds and thousands of updates to your system over the course of the life an operating system. It’s important to have a regular maintenance schedule to review, approve and deploy these patches. Remember all the recent buzz about Crypto Locker and ransom ware? Windows Updates help close security loopholes that allow viruses and hackers to gain access to your computer.

Remember to update your firmware.

What’s a firmware? According to Merriam Webster its computer programs that are contained permanently in a device [2]. You’re probably thinking why should I care about firmware Mr. Computer guy? Firmware is the software that tells your computer, network and server how to operate and communicate. Without firmware your computer or router wouldn’t even turn on!

One time I went into a Dental Clinic that was experiencing frequent network outages. After completing a Network Assessment on their network, we discovered their network firewall had not had the firmware upgraded in the last 4 years! Meanwhile their network was crashing multiple times a day costing the business a lot of lost productivity and downtime.

 

Maintenance Tips

  • Disk Cleanup – One of the often overlooked maintenance activities you can do is do a disk cleanup and clean up temporary files. Windows offers a free tool called “Disk Cleanup” there are other popular 3rd party tools called CCleaner that can scan your system and clean up temporary files and reclaim disk space and speed up indexing of your file system.
  • Defrag Drives – In junction with disk cleanup you should run a weekly system defrag that will purge partial or fragmented files from your hard drive. This will greatly speed your computer and server if you perform it on a regular schedule.
  • Server Monitoring Tip– If your file server is not being monitored and the disk space reaches max capacity you can have a major system outage. It’s very important your current IT Provider is monitoring your disk space and disk input and output to make sure your system is running at peak performance.
  • Cloud Backup – Are you backing up your important data at least once a day after you floss your teeth? If you have a catastrophic data loss or more commonly someone deletes something by mistake you can experience enormous downtime and at the very least it’s just annoying to have re-type up a document you’ve spent the last three hours on! Do you have a regular off-site backup scheduled? Is the data encrypted to prevent unauthorized individuals from accessing your data?

Sources

  1. Breaking News: You still need to floss. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A41709-2004Jun14.html. Washington Post. 9/14/14.
  2. Merriam-Webster Dictionary. <a href="http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/firmware.%209/14/14" onclick="__gaTracker('send', 'event', 'outbound-article', 'http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/firmware.%209/14/14', 'http://www.merriam-webster the original source.com/dictionary/firmware. 9/14/14′);”>http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/firmware. 9/14/14.
  3. My Daily Lie. http://theoatmeal.com/pl/my_daily_lie/floss/. 9/14/14.

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