What to do if your Business Server Crashes

A Server Crash can send your whole organization into state of panic and damage cleanup mode. When a server goes down, you’re essentially flirting with the prospect of losing data, money and customers immediately, and in some rare cases, permanently. In the IT world, this would easily classify as a disaster. In the event of a server crash, there are some fundamental things that you can do that cover a broad range of circumstances. When a server fails, the first two questions you need to ask yourself are: “What are the symptoms of the crash?” and “Has anything on the server changed recently?” Is hardware or software to blame?

Some of the possible symptoms are:

  • The server will not power up.
  • The server powers up but displays the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD).
  • The server powers up and Windows loads, but some critical services fail to start.
  • If the system refuses to power up, then it is definitely a hardware-related problem. Most likely, the server’s power supply has gone bad.

But it’s important to first check the simple stuff, so make sure the system is plugged in and it is receiving power from the electrical outlet. If the system boots but displays the BSOD, the problem is generally due to a hardware failure or a bad device driver. If you recently installed a new device driver, then that’s a pretty good clue that the problem might be driver related.

Three Things to do Immediately After a Server Outage

Immediately Review Your Disaster Recovery Plan

This is where you schedule an emergency meeting with your IT department to determine the details of your disaster recovery plan.

Check the Status of Your Backups

At the very least, your IT staff should have come up with a system that backs up all your data in multiple formats – preferably in the cloud, on tape and on disk; there are ways to do this in-house and companies that specialize in server backup. Your tech team should have also established data loss threshold levels, which basically means clearly outlining what level of data loss your organization can afford to lose while still remaining functional.

Check for Security Issues

In many cases, server outages are the result from an external intrusion. This can be the result of poor security and maintenance policies instituted by your team, or just a lack of knowledge in general server security and data protection solutions.

Prevention is the Best Cure

At the end of the day, no company can afford to think, “This could never happen to me.” Currently, server outages on the enterprise level can cost upwards of $90,000 an hour or more. As your server infrastructure grows to meet the needs of an expanding business, you’re never fully aware of every weak point in your system. Accidents happen, but you can avoid the disastrous fallout with an effective plan. Get with your team, develop a disaster recovery plan and protect your data in the process.

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