What Is Third-Party Server Maintenance? | Whether for browsing, email, file transfer, streaming, and other tasks, a server is at the core of every computer network. Without servers, it’ll be a challenge to store, send, and receive data through any electronic device.
Thus, making sure that the server is well-maintained is necessary for every business. However, many small enterprises can’t afford to hire information technology (IT) staff. Luckily, like any other IT-related task, server maintenance can be outsourced from professionals who are ready to keep the server up and running 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Understand the basics of third-party server maintenance to see if you need one in your current business setup.
What Is Third-Party Maintenance?
As the name suggests, third-party maintenance refers to the type of support provided by a company that’s different from the firm where the goods and services were originally purchased. Often, a third-party company operates as an outsourcing company that caters to different clients.
Third-party businesses, however, are composed of highly skilled and trained professionals who operate based on industry standards and have access to new technologies. If a business doesn’t have the internal resources to keep the servers, they can come in handy to provide an organization with much-needed help.
What Does Server Maintenance Activities Entail?
Third-party service maintenance is an external company that a business hires to provide support, repair, and maintenance to optimize server performance and lifespan.
In more concrete terms, server maintenance by a third party could include the following services:
- Diagnosis of server problems, whether hardware or software-related
- Regular maintenance and monitoring of server
- Replacement and installation of hardware parts (i.e. central processing unit, memory, motherboards, and so on)
- Other technical services, both on-site and virtual
A third party server maintenance company ensures that a business is up and running all the time with minimal glitches.
Why Is Server Maintenance Essential?
A server encompasses both software and hardware functions. As hardware, it’s a powerful machine that can facilitate the flow of information within a computer network and the internet. As software, it must be capable of handling a specific task or multiple tasks, depending on user requirements and hardware capacity.
A server can be used as a dedicated device for the following functions:
- Web browsing
- Online games
- Audio and video streaming
- Email exchanges
- File transfers
- User identities or for authorized user log-ins
Think of third-party server maintenance as insurance coverage. Instead of worrying about potential downtimes, a business can hire a service provider to take care of server maintenance at all times.
When Do Third-Parties Need To Step In?
Like other IT products and services, both the hardware and software components of the server have their end-of-service life (EOSL) dates. Due to the ever-changing IT and web landscape, an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) sets an expiry date for every product it releases on the market. This date is the OEM’s projection as to the period when the said product remains useful.
Once the device reaches its EOSL period, the manufacturer will no longer provide any form of support such as updates or warranties. Additionally, a customer will no longer have access to contract support and other types of customer service in case of technical issues.
However, the reality is, these devices can still be used even after the EOSL lapses. But since the manufacturers no longer want to have anything to do with the product, the user is left with two choices: whether to buy a new device or to tap another company that’s willing to provide support, considering the importance of servers in all business operations.
This is where third-party server maintenance providers come in. Using the device past its EOSL can provide huge savings to a company with the help of a third-party service.
Major Services Every Server Maintenance Provider Must Offer
As a crucial tool in keeping businesses up and running, a well-kept and healthy server should be every organization’s top priority. If a business has its own IT staff, these two major services shouldn’t be skipped:
- Managed Services
This involves regular monitoring of server equipment to ensure its soundness and optimal use. Most common tasks include reviewing log files, installing security patches and software updates, as well as performing full back-ups.
- Repair Services
This type of activity is primarily done by third-party server maintenance providers. This can either be done through customer service hotlines or on-site visits, depending on the issue involved. A third-party maintenance company is already familiar with your server and will have the replacement parts on hand.
Small businesses need to have an excellent working server to keep it running like clockwork. When the manufacturers of software products can no longer provide technical support and service, hiring a third-party server maintenance company offers a cost-effective option.
Before choosing the company to hire, it pays to perform due diligence by understanding how it works and which services need to be available for your business, as discussed in this article.