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What You Need to Do When Your Server Goes Down

Posted: June 5, 2018


If your server goes down, you could lose valuable data and compromise your whole organization. That’s why you need to know how to identify the cause of a crashed server, find a solution, and take steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Not all IT crashes and causes are alike, but here are some tips if your server unexpectedly goes down:

Identify the Cause

The first step is to see if you can discover what happened. The most common cause of a server failure is a power failure. Storms, natural disasters, and citywide power outages can shut your server off if you don’t have a backup generator.

Server overload can cause sporadic or system-wide crashes. That’s basically when too many users are accessing your server all at once. If this is a frequent occurrence you may need to upgrade your server or consider external hosting in the cloud.

If the power is on but your server is down, determine whether or not access to the web server is completely down or only affecting some IP addresses. You can usually tap your network administrator to figure out who does and doesn’t have access.

Now, check the log. Are there any unusual entries? If there are, you and your server may be the victims of cyberattack. Even if your server is already up and running again, you’ll want to alert your systems administrator that something could be seriously wrong.

Fix the Problem

If you can determine the cause of the power outage, once you’re up and running, your server will be too. If your issues only affect certain users, your administrator should be able to troubleshoot the problem. But if you are under cyberattack, you’ll need to look into exactly what might have happened at a high level and immediately set safety measures in place. You’ll want to secure all data before you reboot the server or the system.

Be Preventative

Many server crashes can be prevented if you follow some key safety guidelines. Make sure that the server room is clean and temperature-controlled. Keep the doors to the server room closed to keep out dust, that might cause overheating. Keep it locked to keep out unauthorized people.

Use firewalls and cryptographic keys to authenticate users. Conduct regular audits so you catch problems as soon as possible. And make sure to conduct routine backups. The best way to do this is to have your server set up to back itself up automatically.

Some server crashes can be fixed by people with everyday knowledge of computers, but some issues need an expert. If you think you have what it takes to work with servers and computers, check out our training programs in IT at Career Quest Learning Centers. You’ll learn about servers, hardware, software, systems, and more! Fill out the form and we’ll be in touch.