IT Infrastructure Assessments:
The Key to Building a Resilient Digital Ecosystem
Modern everyday businesses operate much like ships navigating the expansive seas of the internet. And like any seaworthy vessel, a company's vigor, agility, and resilience are rooted in its foundational structures. The structural elements of a ship – its masts, hull, and navigational tools –are the servers, networks, and cybersecurity protocols in a business setting. Yet, how can business leaders, akin to ship captains, guarantee they are not at the helm of a sinking ship?
The answer resides in one vital navigational tool: IT infrastructure assessment.
When a new NetVisor contract for Managed IT Services is signed, the Net Friends team conducts a routine in-depth infrastructure assessment. We use this information to chart the plan for maintaining and supporting the necessary infrastructure.
Understanding IT Infrastructure Assessments
An IT infrastructure assessment is a systematic evaluation of an organization's entire IT environment.
It encompasses a thorough review of hardware, software, network configurations, security postures, and operational procedures. The primary goal is to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats within the IT landscape and provide actionable insights for improvements.
Evaluation Components of an IT Infrastructure Assessment
1. Server Room
This involves evaluating the room's security, and the ventilation and airflow of the space to guarantee optimal equipment function. Additionally, the network rack, which houses all the equipment, is inspected to ensure proper organization and appropriate management of cables, wiring, and electrical components.
2. Wireless Access Points, Routers, Switches, & Firewalls
The team identifies the wireless access points and delineates the flow throughout the environment, facilitating the quick identification of potential issues as they emerge. Warranty checks and firmware updates are also performed during this stage.
3. Server Assessment
Evaluating your server is crucial to identifying potential problems and offers solutions for enhancing the performance and functionalities of your server infrastructure, including application deployment, software updates, and operating system management. This phase also entails evaluating storage capacity and proposing recommendations for optimization.
4. Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)
A UPS ensures power protection for connected electronics, supplying clean battery backup power (clean battery power maintains a consistent level of power which extends the life of your devices) and surge protection during power disruptions or fluctuations. It is vital to verify the functionality of your UPS system to safeguard your server and retain operational effectiveness.
Server backups are pivotal in safeguarding your data against disasters, hardware failures, or human errors. They aid in reducing downtime by facilitating swift data recovery. This part of the assessment evaluates your backup systems, redundancy measures, and data retention and security protocols.
Common Issues Discovered
Some common issues identified during an Infrastructure Assessment include devices that are no longer under warranty, the use of consumer-grade devices, server-related problems, and concerns regarding backups.
Out of Warranty Devices:
Net Friends recommends that all managed devices remain under warranty. This is crucial for safeguarding your valuable business tools. Computers, like any other tools, are prone to malfunctions. Maintaining warranties ensures you have coverage should any issues arise.
It is common to find businesses using personal computers or laptops. These devices lack the durability of commercial-grade equipment and often do not possess the processing capabilities needed for many business tasks.
The most frequent problem is servers with expired warranties. Additionally, it is not rare to discover servers well beyond the end of their recommended lifespan. It is imperative to strategize for the replacement of aging servers before they start posing issues.
Data Backup Concerns:
Although many clients employ some backup solutions, we often notice that these strategies might not be as comprehensive as possible. For example, we identify design weaknesses that might hinder a backup system from performing as anticipated during a recovery or reveal that the backup system is interconnected with the primary system in a manner that allows both to be simultaneously compromised by a single event.
Implementing thorough and consistent backups can shield your business from disruptions due to cyberattacks or system failures.
The Importance of IT Infrastructure Assessments
- Risk Management: Detecting vulnerabilities in the IT sphere enables organizations to mitigate them proactively, lessening the chances of downtime or security breaches.
- Cost Optimization: Identifying and eliminating redundant systems or underutilized resources allows businesses to streamline operations and realize cost savings.
- Strategic Planning: Assessments yield valuable insights that can influence decision-making processes, ranging from integrating novel technologies to retiring obsolete systems.
- Regulatory Compliance: Various sectors impose stringent IT compliance standards. Regular evaluations help maintain compliance and prevent substantial penalties.
- Performance Enhancement: Discerning and addressing system bottlenecks or inefficiencies fosters improved system performance, resulting in augmented productivity.
Beyond IT Health Checks with Net Friends
An IT infrastructure assessment is more than a health check for an organization's digital ecosystem. They serve as an indispensable instrument, empowering businesses to stay resilient, efficient, and ahead in an evolving digital landscape.
Regular assessments facilitate a proactive approach, enabling organizations to capitalize on IT advancements for continuous growth and success.
This service is included in every NetVisor Managed IT Services contract. At Net Friends, it is our goal to provide you with the tools and information to successfully navigate your technology. If you are interested in learning more, reach out to us and we can help you chart the course!