When most people think of Spring Cleaning, they think of clearing rooms of their house, scrubbing the baseboards, touching up paint on the walls, and cleaning everything top to bottom. Like your home, it is also good to Spring Clean your computer network and data on some regular basis. The following things can be done to protect your IT infrastructure. We will start with the hardware and work our way up to your data.
Clean out dust from your computers and servers
It amazes me that even in the cleanest offices, dust will still accumulate inside of the computer case. This is because the fans that pull air in to cool the system also pull dust from the air. Over time, the dust accumulates inside, preventing proper air flow and increasing the temperature. Heat can cause all sorts of problems. It can cause the system to "hard lock" with no keyboard or mouse movement. In addition to total failures, it can also slow down systems. When hard drives are too hot they slow down and can make the computer seem sluggish. We highly recommend blowing out the dust with compressed air to keep you computers running smoothly.
Archive you data
I hoard all of my data. I probably have every spreadsheet I've ever created. Once a year, I will go through a process of reorganizing and archiving the data I no longer need on a day-to-day basis. This keeps the "My Documents" directory slimmed down, reducing the time it takes to synchronize it to my laptop and making it easier to find things. Everyone organizes their data differently, but it is a good idea to go through this process at least once a year.
Review your backup processes
Are your backups working? Do you have enough space on your tape or backup drive for all of your data? Are your backups stored offsite to protect your information from catastrophic events? Have you tested your backups to make sure they are working? This is an IT function that is often overlooked. Once a backup process is in place, a lot of folks just let it run without monitoring and testing it. Even those who are very good about changing the backup media are guilty assuming that all is well. I cannot tell you the number of times we have been called in to restore data for someone only to find that the information was not backed up or that the backup has not worked for some time.
Our C-Now Advantage and Premium plan customers have their backups monitored and tested regularly. CisCom also offers offsite backup services over the internet for your most critical data. Data storage costs have gone down significantly over the past few years. This makes it more economically viable to have multiple backup strategies to protect your information. Data storage is cheap - your data is NOT. Protect it well.
If you need any assistance at all with cleaning dust out of your computers, organizing your data, or reviewing and testing your backup strategies, please contact CisCom at (502) 253-4525 x1 for assistance.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
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