Apple Server Checkup

If you have an Apple server, chances are that it is sat on a shelf (or better yet in a server cabinet) without a screen attached. This begs the question, when was the last time it was checked to see if it has any alerts, updates or other issues that need addressing?

If the answer is anything other than ‘last week’, that’s not good news!

To address this, we’re proud to offer a server checkup service as part of our role in the Apple Consultants Network, so you no longer need to worry about your unattended server suffering in silence. At an interval of your choosing, we either remotely connect to your server or visit site and perform a 7 point check of its vital signs, and then send a report to nominated people either giving the server the all-clear, or advising of issues and their resolutions. Read on for detail on the checks we carry out and why:

Software updates

It is incredibly important for any internet-connected server to be regularly updated, to ensure that it has patches for large-scale security flaws such as Heartbleed and Shellshock which if exploited by hackers could lead to data loss or theft on your server. We check that your server is up to date and therefore not vulnerable to these known serious security flaws.

Off-site backup

If the worst happens and your server suffers a hardware failure, or your offices flood, burn down or are burgled, an off-site backup with a service such as CrashPlan can save you from unprecedented data loss. That is, if it is running without error… We have often found on unattended servers that a backup is configured, but has an issue preventing backups from completing that must be cleared. We ensure that any off-site backup strategy you have in place is working as expected.

On-site backup

We always advise our clients to have a “belt and braces” attitude to backups, and we regularly deploy both on-site and off-site backups together. An on-site backup offers fast recovery from data loss, as it is locally accessible at high speed. We verify that the on-site backup is working as intended.

Disk Integrity

Hard disks are one of the last remaining moving parts in modern computers, and some Apple servers still use them. Verifying disk integrity ensures that the storage disks inside the Mac mini are operating correctly and without corruption. Solid state disks, also known as flash memory or SSDs benefit from disk integrity checks too, as corruption can still occur, albeit not as frequently. We run disk integrity checks to safeguard your data.

Processor and Memory Usage

It is not usually obvious how much of a system’s resources are being used at any given time, unless the system is running very slowly, in which case it is obviously overburdened. We check current and historical processor and memory usage for your server, to see if it has enough resources to serve your needs without delay, or if it could benefit from an upgrade, or in extreme cases being completely replaced with a newer, more powerful model.

Service Status

Typically an Apple server will provide more than one service to an office, for example file sharing and email. We run through a list of services that are known to be configured for your business, and check that they are running without error.

Alerts Log

Apple’s server application collects alerts from all aspects of the server, but on unattended servers our experience is that we find an alerts list a mile long, with many alerts that need to be addressed. We check through this log and advise of any action that should be taken to correct these issues.

Summary

All of these very comprehensive checks are designed to flag up potential issues with your server before they become critical and cause the server to fail in some respect, potentially causing work to grind to a halt in your business.

We strongly advise all of our clients who have an Apple server to enrol with at least monthly checks with our Apple business support team, as we have caught countless issues this way before they became critical. If we ever find any issues, we will inform you on the problem, provide you with a cost effective estimate, and get working on it as soon as possible.

Give yourself the peace of mind, and let us check your server. We offer this 7 point server checkup at the interval of your choosing for £25.00 ex. VAT or an on-site server checkup with fixes included (where possible) for £85.00 ex VAT. per checkup, as well as a wide range of professional Apple services for small businesses.