As a SysAdmin, you probably ask yourself if your servers need to be routinely rebooted, and if so, how frequently? Once a week? Once a month? Should they be allowed to run as long as possible to achieve maximum uptime?

 

You’ll be happy to know that regular rebooting of servers is not a bad idea when done correctly. With proper planning and execution, it can actually be incredibly valuable.

 

Beware of 24/7 Uptime

Some businesses running critical systems have no allotment for downtime and must be available 24x7. Such systems cannot be rebooted in a routine manner. However, if an application is so business-critical that it can never go down, then the situation should trigger a red flag that this system represents a single point of failure. Regardless of operational requirements or SLAs, every IT organization must have a server performance monitoring plan in place for handling server downtime, as not all downtime is planned or foreseen.

Uptime is highly regarded highly in IT: How long can a system run without restarting? However, business is not concerned with how long a server has been available—just that the server is available for business-critical applications and services.

As a rule of thumb, servers need to be rebooted at regular, consistent intervals. This can be daily, weekly, or monthly. It’s rare that a server is actually in use around the clock without exception.

  

Why Reboot?

There are two main reasons to reboot servers on a regular basis:

  1. To apply patches that cannot be applied without rebooting
  2. To verify the ability of the server to reboot successfully

  

Applying patches is an important aspect of rebooting. Almost all operating systems receive regular updates that require rebooting in order to take effect. As most patches are released for security and stability purposes, especially those requiring a reboot, the importance of applying them is rather high. Making a server unnecessarily vulnerable just to maintain uptime is not sensible.

 

Testing a server's ability to reboot successfully is also key. Most corporate servers are subject to changes on a regular basis. These changes might include patches, new applications, configuration changes, updates, etc. If the server is never rebooted intentionally, you will never know if it can reboot successfully—especially with an increasing number of changes that have piled up since the last reboot.

 

This is very tricky situation. A server that has never been rebooted on schedule may reboot unintentionally, causing a failed reboot that might occur while in active use, causing a service disruption.

 

Regular rebooting serves to protect the business from outages and downtime. SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor provides comprehensive server management in a single monitoring tool, to simplify and safeguard the rebooting process. With visibility into all processes running at any point in time, Server & Application Monitor lets you reboot servers safely and regularly with the click of a button. So go ahead and reboot with ease..!!

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