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I'm looking at creating a schedule and list of periodic maintenance for our Windows servers (2k3, 2k8). Any thoughts, suggestions or ideas of things that should be implemented. Bonus points for Citrix tasks that should be done.

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5 Answers 5

I'm not a big fan of periodic maintenance. I think you should be monitoring your servers on a continuous basis and responding to problems immediately. I use home brewed monitoring (just some VBScripts using WMI) but there are lots of server monitoring apps out there. The things I look for on a daily basis are:

  • did the backup work
  • how much free disk space
  • is the AV up to date
  • list event log entries of type "Error"
  • list all Dell ESM log entries of type "Error"

It's a bit more involved than that, for example there are some non-error eventlog entries I check for, e.g. the Eventlog entry indicating a restart. Also I linear regress the free disk space to warn me if the disk space will fall to zero in the next six months.

JR

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+1 for being pro-active - Strictly reactive support is the hallmark of inexperienced admins. I particularly like the "...I linear regress the free disk space..." bit. The vast majority of people can't tell you anything about disk space trending on their server computers. (I can't say I do linear regression on it, but I do trend based on increasing backup corpus size.) –  Evan Anderson Jun 26 '09 at 11:05

Have you experimented with some of the adminstrator stuff? You can create your own MMC tools for monitoring disk space, Temperatures, network usage - gosh, I can't even remember the ridiculous ammount of tools that's inbuilt in windows.

There's a good guide here on creating your own MMC:

http://windowsitpro.com/article/articleid/15134/how-do-i-create-a-custom-mmc-configuration.html

Good Luck :)

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Pretty much everything that reoccurs periodical is automated, except for physical cleaning the insides of the machines. It is amazing that even in suppose sterile data centers the fan still clocks up with all kinds of crud.

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Well monitoring is something different so I won't go into all the stuff you can watch. But maintenance implies downtime. Downtime is needed for restarts. Some updates need restarts. Some software updates need restarts.

KNOW whats on your server. Keep it updated. Plan your maintenance day after Microsoft's monthly release or however often you can get away with it.

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Server Maintenance is luxury :), I mean people should get enough time from reacting to issues. Just kidding.

Maintenance would include periodic security patch installation (after proper testing in TEST environment), hardware level scrubbing (not all servers are placed in super cool data centers), and review of capacity reports (parts replacements, capacity upgrades). Going through Annual Maintenance Contracts to verify validity and need of renewal.

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