Safeguarding Systems Through Health Checks

The surge in corporate reliance on system infrastructure is unmistakable, prompting many organizations to invest in a variety of monitoring and management tools for a grasp on device performance. Yet these tools may only view a subset of the software stack, leaving physical infrastructure risks unexposed. To get the complete picture, enterprises should conduct periodic health checks on mission critical physical servers and storage, especially those crucial to operations.

Critical applications are the lifeline for businesses, detailing product pipeline status, operating costs, and customer sentiments. In our digital era, the patience for downtime or sluggish performance has worn thin, both among employees and customers craving an immediate digital response. A mere three subpar experiences send 84% of customers toward the competition. While various factors can induce downtime, a significant one with a straightforward solution is the absence of preventative maintenance.

Performance Tool Limitations

Data centers use monitoring tools showing critical, immediate-action events like server downtime or major performance delays. So there’s a difference between tool insights and support staff deductions. A positive response merely signifies no critical incidents, not optimized application performance. Consequently, brief, sporadic delays accumulate, hurting user experience. Since they elicit no immediate alert, they go unnoticed, misaligning the technical perception of system performance with actual user experience.

Comprehensive health checks from companies like Top Gun thoroughly inspect device status and performance. Their primary goal is ensuring servers operate efficiently, securely, accurately, and effectively. It’s the difference between a glance in the mirror and a full checkup to determine true health.

These platform native evaluations ensure system components, from boot disks to drivers, operate precisely and efficiently. The end goal is to improve the system’s overall health by making subtle changes that optimize performance, streamline, and ensure that users encounter minimal system delays.

What Should a Health Check Inspect?

Complex computer infrastructure requires closer scrutiny. Inspections cover physical components like CPU usage, memory, disk space, temperature, and fan speed. Abnormalities in these metrics often lead to hardware slowdowns or pending failures.

Boot Disk Analysis
A boot disk is the critical storage area on a device that loads and runs the operating system or utility program and provides the foundation needed to operate the machine.

  • Integrity Checks: Evaluate the reliability and readiness of your alternate boot disk.
  • Configuration Verifications: Ensure the setup aligns with best practices and your specific operational needs.

Patch Analysis and Revision Planning
Vendors constantly update their applications. Patch management is the process of ensuring that a system is running the latest and most reliable application release.

  • Patch Analysis: Identify outdated patches and recommend necessary updates.
  • Patch Implementation: Streamline the application of patches to minimize disruptions and maximize efficiency.

Logical Volume Optimization
Logical Volume Managers (LVMs) provide a method of allocating storage space to applications.

  • Volume Inspection: Assess the configurations and health of logical volumes.
  • Optimization: Offer suggestions to optimize storage configuration and performance.

Driver Assessment
A device driver is software that controls a particular type of computer attachment, for instance a disk unit. The driver enables operating systems and other computer programs to access hardware functions without needing to know precise details about the hardware being used.

  • Driver Review: Analyze the current drivers to identify any that are outdated or incompatible.
  • Recommendations: Suggest updates or replacements that ensure system harmony and efficiency.

Why Do a Health Check?

Understanding how the infrastructure is functioning is essential to business success. Health Checks offer an affordable opportunity to assess and prevent future outages.

These periodic exams are especially useful for legacy systems. Management often lacks visibility into legacy systems, yet they continue serving critical corporate applications. Server failures leading to unexpected downtime prove costly as work halts and companies lose opportunities as well as customer and partner trust.

Preventing Cascading Failures

Cascading failure is one of the most common causes of service outages. It occurs when a problem in one system part leads to the failure of other parts that ultimately brings down the entire system. Health Checks can help mitigate these complex system failures.

Take Action

Health check reports illustrate how well systems are operating. Organizations can pinpoint bottlenecks and take action, whether by reconfiguring, upgrading components, or purchasing more capacity.

Another advantage is establishing baseline performance metrics to track changes over time. When performance drops below a predefined threshold, it triggers an alert. Moreover, the information helps asset lifecycle planning decisions.

Regular health checks are vital for optimal system performance and reliability. They help to identify problems before they become disruptive and ensure that systems run at optimal capacity. With them, work proceeds and companies reach full potential.

Top Gun, an engineering-led firm, provides industry-leading bespoke health check services for servers and storage infrastructures. Understanding that companies use varied infrastructure technologies, Top Gun applies its engineering expertise to designing and delivering health checks tailored to your mission critical systems.