Summer checklist for trouble-free IT

 In Support

It’s that time of year again! With only two weeks until the holiday break; now is the time to plan for how you’re going to make sure your business technology doesn’t crash and burn while you’re on a beach somewhere.

Whether you close down entirely for the week or run on a skeleton staff; you don’t want to spend your precious break worrying about IT problems.

There are two main culprits when it comes to IT issues in summer:

  1. Heat stress on equipment during high temperatures.
  2. Problems with re-launching systems after a shut-down on the first day of the new business year.

Here are my five tips for a smooth summer break.

1. Test your backup

I know, I know, you already have backup, can’t we talk about something more interesting? Well you would be surprised how many people think their backup system has them covered when, in actual fact, it doesn’t.

If something goes seriously wrong while you’re away, you need two things to get back up and running: an up-to-date backup, and a plan to facilitate fast recovery. Here’s my guide to best practice backup strategies.

Ideally you should have an automated, off-site backup, but whatever your system, you should test that it’s working before the holiday period.

If your backup system relies on a person manually exchanging drives every day, think seriously about putting a new backup policy in place in the new year.

2. Get on top of routine maintenance tasks

Just like a regular car service, performing routine IT maintenance isn’t exciting – but can help you avoid a hardware failure. Routine maintenance tasks will need the involvement of your IT services provider, so now’s the time to get in touch. Routine tasks include:

  • checking and cleaning dust build-up in machines
  • reviewing event logs to make sure there are no errors flagged
  • checking UPS batteries
  • cleaning up disk space and deleting unnecessary files – staff can also tidy up and archive emails
  • installing any pending software updates.

3. Keep your equipment cool

Great holiday beach weather can be not so great back at the office, with the higher temperatures potentially causing damage to hardware, particularly for on-site servers. Over the break, consider keeping the air conditioning on and using some of these options for keeping the server room cool. The money you spend on the electricity bill might be worth the savings on equipment replacement costs and downtime.

And don’t underestimate the power of passive cooling! Closing the blinds on your way out is effective and costs nothing.

4. If you’re closing down, turn off your wi-fi

An unattended wi-fi connection is an unnecessary vulnerability. Just Google ‘office wi-fi hacks’ and you’re already on your way to hacking all the wireless networks close enough to see.

Once someone hacks your wi-fi, they’ll be able to use your internet connection and potentially access your entire network. If no one’s at the office to detect unusual activity, a hacker has more time to do real damage. Better to be safe than sorry: switch off the wi-fi.

5. Keep in contact – arrange for two people to be contactable in the event of an emergency

If you’ve invested in off-site monitoring of critical IT systems, you need to make sure that your service provider can actually get in contact with a business decision-maker in the event of a system failure or other emergency so they can act quickly on your behalf.

… and then enjoy your holiday

I’m sure you don’t need to be told how to take a holiday, but if you’re still unsure about how to implement all these tips, then get in touch with us here at Proactive IT Solutions. We can help you to shore up your IT systems in time for your holiday closure so you can hit the new year running.

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