Planning And Avoiding Disaster During IT Upgrades

Upgrade clock

Making scheduled upgrades is mandatory for the success of a company’s IT infrastructure. Existing applications may have become outdated, or it’s just time for an update to close security vulnerabilities. It’s easy for what seems like a routine update to go horribly wrong, however. Recently, Dropbox tried to perform an update and ended up with a prolonged outage. David King of IT Manager Daily has some tips for you to follow before your next upgrade to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible.

  • Notifications

For some of the upgrades you perform, a period of downtime is unavoidable. In these cases, such as changes to your servers, be sure to warn users ahead of time. Tell them how long the outage is expected to last and what services will be unavailable. Other times, upgrades may not be expected to cause any downtime, but an outage is always a possibility. In those cases, it’s usually a good idea to plan for the worst. It’s better to alert users that certain applications may be down at a certain time than leave an employee without access to a vital application at the worst possible time.

  • Time

A popular time for upgrades is Friday at midnight because it’s unlikely that an outage would affect anyone at that time. When every employee only works from their desk at the office, that’s an acceptable assumption. However, with mobile access, there’s never a time when you can be sure that an outage won’t affect someone. Conducting upgrades outside of normal business hours is still the best practice, but regardless of what time you decide to perform maintenance, advance warning is needed.

  • Recovery

Before conducting any upgrades or making other changes to your network, it’s a good idea to back-up data and make sure you have a disaster recovery plan in place. Failing to do so could result in downtime lasting longer than it needs to. Testing even more than you think is necessary is also a good way to avoid unwanted surprises. You need to be prepared for how your network will react to these changes so you can plan for possible problems and be prepared even for the unforeseen ones. Also, understand that even with a good plan in place, recovering might take some time. Don’t expect to be able to restore data and service immediately.

Managing your IT infrastructure can be difficult and costly. For help with yours, call Geek Rescue at 918-369-4335.

January 15th, 2014