Whether you are in the web hosting business or are simply managing a single dedicated server for a client, you have probably passed along a guarantee or at least hinted at the expectation that your service will provide a substantial amount of uptime. In order to deliver on a such a promise, you need to take steps to make sure your server is secure and stable. The following are four ways you can accomplish that.
1. Run a stable, trusted OS – Simply choosing an OS by reputation is not enough. For example, you may decide to run Linux because of its reputation for stability, but some Linux distributions are more stable than others. This is not a flaw in the less stable ones. It just means that they are less cautious and more likely to try newer versions of applications or even those still in development. On the other hand, certain server-friendly distros will have longer release cycles, better testing, and more strenuous quality control.
2. Always Test New Software – It could be as simple as an update to an important application or as complex as an entirely new business management system. Either way, you should test it in a virtual machine or through some other means that will not affect your production server.
3. Redundancy – This may not be an option if you are running a small operation, but if you can afford it, redundancy can save your server. If something goes wrong with the primary server, a backup system or backup device with identical data can kick in and pick up right where the original server left off, avoiding lengthy downtime. As with any of these stabilizing measures, your clients will appreciate it.