Written by Shackleton Technologies
“The server’s gone down!”
“No idea. It just went down.”
Cue several hours of hurried troubleshooting and hand-wringing, followed by days spent trying to find someone to blame. All the while your business is losing money – and possibly customers too.
The problem is that IT outages rarely “just happen”.
In almost every case, your company network will be trying to alert you to problems. The trouble is, you have to know where to look for the warning signs – and how to interpret them.
Virtually every device and application on your network is busily creating records of activity, known as ‘event logs’. The firewall that protects your network from hackers logs all incoming and outgoing traffic for instance. The Windows operating system installed on your servers creates logs for errors and warnings. And your applications probably do the same too.
Importantly, log files provide the warning signs of impending trouble long before the system crashes.
Your systems are logging literally hundreds events every minute, creating a vast amount of useful – but largely irrelevant information. Indeed, most log entries can be ignored if you know what you are doing. And what may be irrelevant today, may be vitally important when trying to trace a low-level system issue tomorrow.
Log files must be routinely reviewed in order to spot the warning signs that something is wrong. And this is a job best performed by an experienced systems engineer who can cut through the background noise and zero-in on serious issues that warrant further investigation.
Although proactive log reviews can save time and effort by preventing significant problems at a later date, they can also be time-consuming. For a time-poor IT department that is already stretched to the max, this is one more task that they will struggle to complete – or put on the backburner until it is too late.
This is where a proactive support partnership pays dividends. Working with a third party like Shackleton Technologies allows you to take advantage of our team of highly skilled engineers; with the ability to monitor the logs in near real-time they will identify potential issues as early as possible.
Using their extensive experience supporting software, hardware and network infrastructure, our engineers are able to filter out the day-to-day noise. Which means we can highlight those log entries which require further investigation. In the meantime, your team is free to focus on other tasks and projects.
Monitoring log files is one of the least sexy IT tasks, but it is also incredibly important. Otherwise, you may find yourself on the wrong end of a “just happened” system outage.
For more help and advice about Shackleton Technology’s proactive IT maintenance services, please give us a call.