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Pros and Cons of rebooting a server

Posted on 2007-11-14
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Last Modified: 2008-02-01
Hi All,

I've been asked to right a brief summary of the Pro's / Cons of rebooting servers...


Here are the things i can think of;

> Pros'
Flushes Cache
Restarts services
Clears RAM

> Cons'
Potential system wont come back on
Potentially shortends the life expectancy of the hardware


Any more suggestions.....
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Question by:detox1978
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7 Comments
 
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by:richwitton
richwitton earned 20 total points
ID: 20280075
Takes ages!!!

Seriously though...

Cons
if its the only DC all logon services stop
if its a proxy all browsing stops
if its email all mail stops
if its a file/print server all files or printers are unavailable
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by:KCTS
KCTS earned 20 total points
ID: 20280084
Cons
is rarely necessary
causes disruption to users and potential loss of work

Only do it when you have no other option
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by:tropez9
tropez9 earned 20 total points
ID: 20280165
Is required by some Microsoft Updates, so only do reboots when an update is needed, thus limiting the downtime.

CON
If hardware is going to fail, it could very well occur when doing a reboot. (As has happened to 2 hard drives & 1 raid controller on 3 different servers of mine.
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by:detox1978
ID: 20281054
Lots of cons.... any more Pros?
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Danny Child earned 65 total points
ID: 20285654
if you're going to have a hardware failure on a reboot, I'd much rather have it during some planned maintenance, rather than some other random time!  EVERY server is going to have to reboot at some point.  

I'd disagree with your Con of "shortens life expectancy".  Kit these days is pretty tough, and any talk of thermal issues during power cycles is very overrated, imho.

Pro's
Breeds familiarity with the reboot process, and confidence for further work.  This allows a library of documentation to be built up with tried and tested practices.
Allows testing of related items - such as UPS equipment.
Allows re-adjustment of other items - doing that pesky recabling job behind the server that you've been putting off for months, etc....
Breeds a maintenance culture!  Users will be more understanding that 24*365 availability is just the advertising pipedream that it is.  And you can hardly ask them to reboot every so often if you don't do it yourself....

Things to consider - cluster failover procedures, stopping services in a pre-determined order prior to reboot - ie Exchange services, checking that valid backups exist of the server, that support arrangements are in place, and take notes *while* you do the work - what went well, and what didn't...

Like most things, the more you do it, the better you'll be at it!
hth, Danny
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by:Danny Child
Danny Child earned 65 total points
ID: 20285676
a poll on server reboots (sql-related) - how often, and why....
http://www.sqlserver2005.de/Polls/Results/Poll1.pdf
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by:detox1978
ID: 20287842
thanks for the suggestions.
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