Anyone who has owned a car knows how important regular maintenance can be. Changing the oil on a regular basis, checking coolant levels, tire pressure and tread, air filters, and so on. When these things are not maintained, fuel efficiency suffers, the engine may burn oil or overheat, tires become worn resulting in a flat or even an accident.
Computers, printers, and the many parts supporting them also require maintenance and sometimes replacement. Since many people are more familiar with the inner workings of cars than computers, our techs would like to tell you why it is in your company’s interest to maintain these systems on a regular basis.
Why regular maintenance?
Regular maintenance improves the network performance and the overall ‘life’ of the network. Regular visits allow Syscon to stay familiar with your network and any changes to software, Domain hosts, additional equipment, security parameters, anti-virus, etc. When an emergency arises, Syscon techs can be more effective and efficient, since they are aware of what maintenance has been performed and they are familiar with the current arrangements. These same visits also allow the Syscon techs to keep you informed of any potential issues and/or to make appropriate recommendations regarding e-mail, internet providers, backup options, upgrades, etc.
What happens during Maintenance?
Microsoft issues regular patches and updated service packs to resolve ‘known issues’ with their software. Syscon techs keep on top of these updates, and what issues they address. Other hardware such as Firewalls have periodic firmware updates for security. Anti-virus software is updated.
Our network is fine, so why spend money on maintenance?
Back to the car analogy… Even though it starts each morning, the oil may still need to be changed. So to with computers—components may be failing, but day-to-day operations have not yet been interrupted. Software or hardware may be end-of-life and no longer supported. We have also noticed that people tend to get ‘used to’ an error message or a growing length of time to open an application. When the system fails, it becomes an emergency costing time and money to repair, and lost work time.
Syscon also uses a regular checklist for consistency of effort, tracking patterns, usage, up-time and tracking hardware performance specifications.
How much maintenance is needed?
Maintenance time varies from one network to another. With this in mind, Syscon can perform a network evaluation to which we apply a complexity factor based on our experience with other networks of various sizes and complexities. From this information, we can recommend how many hours per month or per week would be appropriate for your network’s maintenance. Some networks require as little as four hours a month and others four hours a week.
If you have any questions about regular maintenance or anything else in this article, please contact our office and we’ll have the appropriate person call to answer your questions.