Scary Server Story; The Frankenserver

A True Scary Server Support Story

A clinic owner called TUCU tech mates on Friday because her team was experiencing slow server access. We went to their office to do a free assessment. We found some scary server practices in play. With Halloween coming up this week we’re sharing this story with you because we want to help you avoid your own scary server story!

The Frankenserver

In this office, and in many others we have assessed, the owner purchased a regular computer and installed server software on it. This is what they are using as a server. But this is not a server. This is a workstation, trying to be a server, without the additional safeguards that a true server is equipped with, such as powerful memory to run server applications, redundant drives, redundant power supplies and error checking memory. Sooner or later, this workstation will fail as a server. This is especially true when a frankenserver like this is also used as a workstation.

Grave Consequences

This owner didn’t have a reliable IT company to advise them when planning their server purchase. Nearly 90% of business owners recognize the value of professional IT advice, but only 37% use professional IT advice when planning or implementing business strategy.

This ill advised owner thought it would be ok to build a frankenserver and then allow employees to also use it as a workstation. When a server (a true server or a frankenserver) is used as a workstation, it can have some grave consequences.

  • It significantly increases your risk for network wide malware and viruses. So it came as no surprise that when scanned, this server had 3 viruses on it.
  • When a server is used as a workstation relatively benign things like a software crash can cause data loss on the server (this also happens on workstations, but the consequences are on a server are greater).

To avoid grave consequences, get professional advice from a tech support company before you make IT purchases or plans.

Do Not Resurrect?

When it comes to monsters and Halloween horrors, no one wants a resurrection to occur. But what about your data?

On top of using a frankenserver, and then doubling it as a workstation, this office also has no data backup in place. None at all. So if that frankenserver/workstation crashes or dies, all of the client and sales records for this clinic are gone forever. Did you know that 40% of businesses that experience a data loss like that close forever?  You need back up.

If you have on site back up, such as an external drive, that is an ok start, however it does not protect your data and your business in the event of a fire, flood or theft. Maybe you take the drive home and think you are safe, but fire, flood and theft can happen there too. Also, drives can be lost or damaged in transit. Offsite/online data backup is better.

So in this office, we have a franskerver infected with viruses and no back up in place. We proposed the following recommendations:

  1. A dedicated server running Windows Server 2012
  2. Online backup with Amazon S3 or Rackspace
  3. Convert current franksenserver to a workstation
  4. Do not allow anyone to use the server as a workstation – remove monitor keyboard and mouse from server to remove temptation (also known as a headless server)

If your network is haunted by such horrors, you will be in for a scary surprise when you least expect it. It total data loss does not sound like a good time to you, call us for a free consultation. 1-855-558-TUCU.