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Server Maintenance "Best Practices"

I'm looking to get some new fresh ideas on server maintenance for my Win2KADV domain.  So far I've found the following.....can anyone add to this list?

•     Servers:
o     Server cleaning:  Quarterly
o     Backup tape testing:  Monthly
o     Server rebooting:  As necessary / Quarterly
o     Hard drive defrag:  Monthly
o     Hard drive cleaning:  Monthly
o     Security Account review:  Monthly
o     Event Log monitor:  Weekly
o     Patches & Updates:  As needed
o     Battery/server shutdown test:  Quarterly
•     User / Accounts:
o     User Account (AD) cleaning:  Monthly
o     User file system cleaning:  Monthly
o     User Outlook profile cleaning:  Monthly
o     User Account security checks:  Quarterly
•     Network Devices:
o     Verification of access-control lists and security settings:  Monthly
o     Review of security logs:  Weekly
o     Backup of configuration:  As needed
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collintapia
Asked:
collintapia
1 Solution
 
kgreeneitCommented:
Hi, two great tools I find for maintenance and monitoring of my servers are provided free of charge from Microsoft. The first is Microsoft's Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) and when downloaded and installed, it can give you a really good insight into any holes in your security or setup.

The link for downloading it is here:  http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/tools/mbsahome.mspx

The second tool is essential if you are using Microsoft Exchange on your network. It's called Microsoft Exchange Best Practices Analyzer (ExBPA) and its available here:

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/downloads/2003/analyzers/default.mspx

You could also try to hack into your network using some free software. You can download an ISO to burn to cd from this site: www.remote-exploit.org/index.php/Auditor_main

The Auditor collection has some really powerful hacking tools to test and audit just how secure your network is. You might be surprised at how easily you can get access to your network.

Also, it helps to implement/review any group policies that you might have in place in your AD domain.

You could also review off site storage policies of your backup tapes, making sure that they are secure and off site every night.

Hope this helps.
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collintapiaAuthor Commented:
As you can probably see in my post, I'm looking for very broad ideas here....

I've looked into all the suggestions and will use the software.  Thanks for that.  

I guess what I'm looking for is some kind of documentation or even books on best practices for maintaining Win2kADV Server.

I want to be able to put something together that outlines these best practices so I can distribute to my other collegues for reference.
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kgreeneitCommented:
Hi again, you could try looking at some of these books, I find most of Microsoft Press' books are well worth a read although, you might want to try and shop around to get the cheapest prices for them as different outlets can vary in price drastically. The links below will give you a feel for the books by allowing a sample chapter or two!

http://www.microsoft.com/mspress/books/6242.asp

http://www.microsoft.com/mspress/books/3211.asp

hope they help
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collintapiaAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the links....I will look into those as well....I believe I might have one of them already.  I guess my request above is a little bit too broad....no one seems willing to tackle my question...
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NzarthCommented:
Could add:

Anti Virus Updates.
Carry out CPU, Disk usage and other performance monitoring to get a baseline so you can compare when a problem does occur.
Programs Installed (to check for unauthorised program installations).
Full anti virus scan.

Will post more if I think of anything else.

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Mike KlineCommented:
Your list is very good; I would add

Spyware Scans: Monthly
Verify AD replication:  Weekly
Analyze Domain Controllers using DC Diag:  Monthly
Test Disaster Recovery Plan: Quarterly or Semi-Annually
Old Computer Maintenance:  Quartely  (I like oldCMP for this task  http://www.joeware.net/win/free/tools/oldcmp.htm)
Verify Members of Domain Admin Group:  Weekly
Change passwords on service accounts with elevated rights:Quarterly or Semi-Annual
Check Disk Space:  Daily or Weekly

Thanks
Mike





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ITnavigatorsCommented:
This is really, really old.  But since I found it, someone else might be looking here as well.  

Regarding defrag.  We recently started automating it.  Contig (from SysInternals) is a free file level defrag tools that uses the defrag functions built-in to Windows.  That means you can safely abort it anytime you need to.  So I setup a small batch file which runs weekly, or even nightly, depending on how quickly the server tends to fragment).  The batch file looks something like this:

   EventCreate /L system /T INFORMATION /SO Contig /ID 999 /D "Start Defragmentation of Drive C"
   Contig c:\ -q -s
   EventCreate /L system /T INFORMATION /SO Contig /ID 999 /D "End Defragmentation of Drive C"

The Event entries are so that I can determine when it starts and stops.  

I use scheduler to determine when to run it and set an quit if not finished so that it doesn't bother people in the morning.  The first couple of times, it will take a while to finish.  On a really fragmented drive it may abort before it finishes.  But if you run this nightly for a few days, you can probably drop the schedule back to weekly.  

Works like a champ.  We now have some of the cleanest, fastest drives.  Best part is...it's free.
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BasheerptCommented:
Is there any specific documentations from Dell to preventive maintain their PowerEdge serves? If you could find one, please share with us
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