It's 10 O'clock — Do You Know What Your Server's Doing?

By Lauren Simonds
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Servers form the nexus of any business network, and keeping them up, running and available is crucial to any successful company. But for small businesses, many of which don't have in-house IT support, it's not always easy to keep your finger on the pulse of your technology.

The folks at LANDesk, a South Jordan, Utah-based company, offer up LANDesk Server Manager 8.5, software that it says makes managing your server less complicated.

Whether you're running your printers, e-mail, databases or applications on a server, you can't afford to have the server go down — the technical equivalent to closing the company doors. The idea behind server management software is to monitor the server's activity, performance and over health so that you stay on top of — and avoid — trouble.

According to Steve Workman, director of product management at LANDesk, the company designed Server Manager 8.5 to meet specific goals. "It had to be easy-to-use, and while it seems that everyone says about their product, we've made the software Web-based so that you can access it from anywhere you have a computer with a browser."

Workman went on to say, "The software is also what we call 'low-resource impact,' in that the software provides an extensive range of management capabilities without wasting CPU and memory resources." LANdesk accomplishes this by placing software agents — small pieces of code — that provide real-time information on the server's health, such as:

  • Performance
  • Software status
  • Internal hardware temperature
  • System logs
  • Security
  • Asset and network information

The 8.5 edition features other enhancements, including remote problem solving, i.e., accessing the server from a different location to make repairs, maintaining and installing security patches and historical tracking. Workman said that Server Manager 8.5 tracks all server activity and analyzes trends in order to anticipate — and prevent — problems.

LANDesk Server Manager 8.5
Manage This — From the Server Manager 8.5 console, you can chose a variety of tasks such as distribute software, view reports and scan vulnerabilities.

All of the Server Manager 8.5 enhancements were designed to increase server stability and availability," said Workman. "The real-time monitoring, remote problem solving and historical tracking work together to decrease downtime and increase predictability. The software capability grows along with your company and can support employees working out of different locations."

Pricing and Availability
Available direct from LANDesk and sells for $299 per server, or you can try-before-you-buy and download a 45-day free trial from the company's Web site.

Lauren Simonds is the managing editor of SmallBusinessComputing.com

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This article was originally published on January 12, 2005
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