Companies depend on their server infrastructure for most IT functions, including data storage, hosting websites, emails, and applications. While many businesses have shifted to cloud services using servers located in enormous, distant data centers, a significant number of organizations still have in-house servers or use a hybrid environment of in-house and cloud services to host server data requiring management. Managing a server, whether in-house or in the cloud, means staying on top of hardware, software, security, and backups.
What is Server Management?
Server management is the inclusive process of monitoring and maintaining servers to ensure that the best of their functionality. An effective server management process includes the management of hardware, software, security, and backups with the main focus being minimizing if not eliminating slowdowns and downtime, building server environments that are secure, and ensuring that the functions of the servers align with the needs and continues evolution of the systems.
An effective server management strategy should include the following elements:
Effective server management requires the team to ensure the performance of the hardware is always at its peak. When choosing server hardware, align the needs of your business with the specifications. Check out for extra storage and processing capacity.
As a server manager, you should understand that any implications that affect the functioning of the hardware affect the productivity of the business. Some of the components to look out for in hardware management include:
- Central Processing Unit
- Random Access Memory (RAM)
- Hard Drive or Hard Disk
- The Temperature of the CPU
- Operating Environment/Room
Just like hardware, server software needs monitoring and regular maintenance. While conducting regular maintenance checks, you should always keep in mind that there are certain dependencies between software and IT infrastructure. Keeping these dependencies in check will help you determine shortcomings performances thereby fixing them before they become a crisis.
When it comes to application management, go for the basics like the current firmware, software, and Operating System. Ensure that they are regularly updated for maximum performance and as a measure against security threats.
The core of server management is maintaining a secure network. Many security policies can be used although they vary depending on the needs of the business and the industry. Some of the widely used security solutions include:
- Installing and keeping up-to-date antivirus software
- Putting firewalls in place to manage unauthorized access
- Using a password policy or access control software that is regularly changed to monitor access
- Encrypting sensitive data storage and external network connections
- Implementing SIEM tools
- Analyzing and using security logging best practices
Regular backups are an essential practice when it comes to server management. If you have ever lost important data, then you will understand why this statement should be emphasized. Data is what drives a business and puts it into a particular position. Losing that data can be disastrous.
And this is why you need a robust backup solution to support both physical and virtual servers.
What is a Remote Server?
The remote server is a server whose main focus is to handle users that are not on the LAN but need remote access. In other terms, a remote server is a computer that is not attached to your perimeters but you have some degree of control over it mostly using the internet. Remote servers can be within the same room, another part of a building, or even across countries and continents.
The remote access server allows users to gain access to files and print services on the LAN from a remote location. They are used in hosting applications in centralized locations.
A simple example is visiting a site from your browser. As soon as you hit enter after typing the URL, your browser establishes a TCP connection with the server which can be anywhere in this world.
Advantages of Remote Servers
- They are more affordable when compared to local servers.
- The cost of server management is subjective.
- Remote servers tend to have enhanced security, redundancy, and better power management.
- It makes monitoring, control, and maintenance of devices connected to the network easy.
- It enables users to quickly troubleshoot using the remote access.
- It enables easy to access files on connected devices, servers, or network.
- It outlines the access rights to files and folders for different categories of users.
- It supports business growth by providing quicker access to files.
Local vs Remote Servers
Understanding the difference between local and remote servers is straightforward. For instance, when referring to a local server, it means that you have a server setup on your current machine. On the other hand, remote servers come into context when it is located on another computer.
Compare this information to when you want to locate files and you decide to visit a browser. When you visit a page, your computer contacts a remote server online and retrieves the information for your computer. However, if you want to locate a file that is already saved on your computer, you just have to run an internal search because it is already running on local servers. The same case all over again.
Below are some of the differences between local and remote servers:
|Local Server||Remote Server|
|Hosted on a local machine with no network connectivity having a web server software||Hosted on a remote computer with web server software, database, and other resources|
|No virtual expenses are needed to set up and maintain||Expensive due to high-performance needs|
|It doesn’t require network connectivity||Needs networks and communication connectivity|
|Usually set up for development and testing of websites having server-side scripting||May host multiple websites of different clients|
|Web pages and other files can be simply copied in the local webserver root directory||A user needs a special File Transfer Protocol to upload or download files to/ from the remote web server|
|Extensive security measures are not necessary||It requires extensive security measures|
|Owned and maintained by an individual||Owned by a company|
When should you set up a Remote Control Server?
If you want to establish a remote connection to the company server, remote access tools like TeamViewer come in handy. Remote access tools allow remote users to gain access to important files, software, and print services remotely.
Hosting server software can be done by an in-house IT professional or managed by managed service provider. Businesses should use a managed IT services provider because of their reliability in delivering excellent services. When it comes to choosing the best server for the company, the best option will depend on several factors including the size of the company, budget, and the availability of in-house IT professionals.
Below are some of the benefits of using remote control server:
- The central point of management
- Performance in your hands
- Easy monitoring
What is a Remote Access Server (RAS)?
A remote access server is special server software that is used for remote connectivity. It helps connect remote users to the internal local area network (LAN) of the organization by providing authentication, connectivity, and resource access services.
It is installed within an organization and directly connected with the internal network and systems. When a user wants to access the data and resources on the network, all they have to do is connect with a RAS.
In layman’s terms, remote access servers ensure different devices, networks and platforms can connect while in different locations. It is like an office server. It is the reason people can work effectively on projects while working remotely.
The following are some of the benefits of remote access:
- Effective remote troubleshooting
- Streamlined remote work among remote teams
- It has made collaboration easy and effective
- Logs of all activity promote network security
What is Remote Network Access?
Remote network access allows people to access enterprise computer systems and software without directly connecting to them. It is most essential for companies with remote teams because the employees can use remote network access to access data and applications that are available on the company’s network.
While access to these remote networks was only possible when using special remote access servers characterized by controlled permission levels, cloud computing and virtual private network tools have made the process quite simple.
If you are a company that opts for a complex network environment, zero-trust network access is perfect. It helps in managing who has access t the network system and under what parameters.
However, if you want to conduct a successful remote network aces setup, consider the following tips:
- Consider your compliance needs
- Establish a device policy
- Establish data management parameters
- Establishing robust backup solutions
- Evaluate your cloud needs
There is no right or wrong when it comes to establishing remote servers. The decision should be based on the needs of the business or company. While many reliable companies are promising extraordinary server management, customization is key.
As a well-established IT company that is built on skilled and experienced staff, Synergy IT provides extensive remote server management solutions that help companies set up remote network access securely and effectively. We have data centers that deliver the very best in reliability to keep your essential systems up and running for your remote workforce.