Servers. We agonize over them. We maintain them. Sometimes we even fear them, knowing that the lifeblood of our organization flows through them. If anything goes wrong, nightmares follow.

Data CenterWe also upgrade them, and when you find yourself with that task ahead of you, make sure you do it right. TechRepublic's Erik Eckel has prepared a helpful list of ten things to remember when you upgrade your servers. It's a good checklist, and if you want to pass it around among your colleagues, here's a PDF download.

Says Eckel:

  1. Always start with a verified data backup
  2. Consider creating an image backup
  3. Don't make multiple simultaneous changes
  4. Monitor logs closely after making changes
  5. Confirm the OS
  6. Confirm the chassis supports the upgrade
  7. Don't assume plug and play
  8. Optimize performance
  9. You get what you pay for
  10. Document changes

Point number 9 is especially important, even in these cost-conscious times.

Certainly, less expensive disks, RAM, power supplies, and other components are always available. But when it comes to servers, it doesn't pay to cut corners. Only high quality, high availability components should be deployed in servers. While these items may cost marginally more than other (lesser quality) alternatives, the performance and uptime benefits more than offset the additional expense.

Words to the wise.

-- Don Willmott