Janitor for your PC
Maintenance has evolved from defrag and scandisk to something much more advanced today. The word maintenance today describes all the actions necessary to keep an IT infrastructure running smoothly, like an oil change or tire rotation. Along with new technology advancements, more areas need to be monitored and audited regularly to watch for early problem indicators. Old concepts, such as defragging, aren't really necessary because today's technology deprecates them. (in the case of defraggin, NTFS have built in features that minimizes fragmentation and defragging shows little or no increase in performance.) Everything mentioned here comes standard with Cirlare Total Care.
- System Events: This is the central of all logs recorded by your machine. Every successful log on, every application error thrown, every replication attempt, and many others sorted by category, can all be found here. In the early stages of infrastructure deployment, events serve as a tool to help the engineers check for glitches, such as misconfigurations and application conflicts. Later on events serve as a record central and it is a common place for engineers to look for indicators and failures. Events can be accessed through event viewer.
- OS Updates: With new advancements come more lines of code. Windows XP alone has more than 40 million lines of code. Bugs and glitches are bund to happen. That is why it is critical to keep the operating system updated frequently, to be protected from malicious software that exploits these bugs.
- Backups: Hard drives are like record players, there is a motor that spins a bunch of plates and there are heads that read the data off the plates. It is the law of physics that a time will come when the motor will break down or the heads will stop working. If you don't have other copies, poof goes your data and you will end up spending thousands of dollars trying to get your organization's data back. (because repairing a hard drive requires a dust free clean room.) In the way that modern organizations are structured, data loss means organization loss, because all the client files, financial databases, tax records, venture plans, and many others are written and stored in digital data. All these disasters can simply be avoided by making copies of the data. Cirlare recommends that you backup your data at least once a week, and at least two copies of data should be made.
- Firewall Audit: When new software is deployed, the firewall is configured to pass their traffic. Should a new patch for the software alters its network behavior, firewall policies must change to adapt. Firewall policies should also adjust to better immune against current security risks and outbreaks. The logs from day to day activity should also be reviewed periodically for unusual activities.
- Active Processes: It is important to keep track of the active programs on your machine, to better manage available memory and boost performance. Modern software has a tendency to have part of its program loaded everytime your computer starts, so when you launch the actual program itself it will be faster. However, if it's a program you don't use frequently, then the memory and clock cycle are wasted. Task manager displays a complete list of active processes.
- Network Health: Most of the networking issues are presented and resolved during the deployment phase. However, with the addition of new equipment and everyday use, network slipups can occur. It is also important to keep your network clean, by not having unauthorized devices connect to the network (eg. employee plugged in his laptop or usb drive from home to the network). Employees should be made aware of this acceptable use policy. Network monitoring and network logs should be reviewed daily for malfunctions or attacks (eg. DoS, packet storm, etc).
- Driver Updates: This is a little different from OS updates. Drivers are instructions for the OS to understand how to communicate with hardware devices. Drivers fall into a category of 'if it's not broken, don't touch it'. However, some drivers aren't designed properly, and when they fail to function or presents a security hole they need to be updated.
- Antivirus: Antivirus is unavoidable in today's IT. While the viruses are getting smarter and more infectious than ever, modern antivirus programs need to update their scanning engines to detect new viruses. Make sure the antivirus is updated and system scans are run periodically to ensure a secure environment.