Certain events can be as unpredictable as they are unavoidable in life. According to Murphy’s Law, if something will go wrong, it definitely will go wrong- not even you can do anything to prevent.
As a business person or an entrepreneur, I needn’t mention it to you that every day-to-day business is characterized with uncertainties. For the most part, it happens like a bolt in bloom or better still, just when it does the most damages to your business.
Now, let’s relate this to network infrastructure management. Disasters like server downtime, unauthorized access to network facility by hackers and scammers, slow bandwidth, security, bugs, patches and updates problems, to mention but few can loom your business while you’re in the middle of an important job.
Against this background, deem it fit as a matter of necessity; you have to make a backup plan for such failures as listed above. As a smart guy who’s got some real tricks up my sleeves, here is what I do in a bid counter disasters that may hit my network infrastructure before they do more harm than good…
Never get too comfortable: I never presume that I know my infrastructure too well- neither do I get too comfortable because I think I could predict it. Just in case you feel you have it well set up and you probably don’t have to worry about disasters, you’re getting it wrong. Slow bandwidth due server upgrade from your internet service provider is one of the worst disasters that can hit your business, yet it is very unpredictable.
Make a backup plan: Having set up my infrastructure, the next key step I make is to set up a backup plan. For the fact that due to upgrade or crash of your ISP’s server, you can suffer bandwidth issues; try to have a backup internet. You can even run a cluster of multiple networks for failover and load balancing.
Another area in which backup plan is particularly essential is power. Power outages can happen anytime, probably due to transformers tripping off or something of that sort. Have a backup power supply. In the event that you’re hit by a disaster, you can easily go back to the backup.
Server Backup: knowing that the data of my clientele in the be-all and end-all is very important, I don’t joke with it. Here is what I do: I take backup of all the servers within my network on a daily basis in order to save my ass in disaster- I locate the time when the servers are less busy and schedule server backup to run then every day. In the event of server crash or data loss, I simply go back the last update taken.
Don’t allow unauthorized users to kill the golden goose which lays the golden egg: here the golden goose represents your infrastructure which your entire business centers around. Don’t let hackers and scammers get the better part of what belongs to legitimate users. Learn to master tools for countering attacks. Is it a website, why not implement log monitoring to get the data of everyone who visits the website.
Or just maybe, it brute force attacks on port 22 of OpenSSH- deny hosts, public/private key infrastructure, and TCP wrappers will do. In the case of SMTP, what about closing port 25 and opening only SMTPs for data encryption. For tracing an attack, you also have many tools available at your beck and call- traceroute, otherwise known as tracert in windows, who and finger commands, Syslog, etc.
Replication is very essential: be it LDAP or MySQL, I always use the master-master or master-slave replication method. I sync data from the master to another master or slave. You can call it load balancing, to me, it is making plans for a rainy day when one will go down but the other will continue to serve data to users.
Closing notes: As an administrator of network infrastructure, I don’t entertain quite much from unauthorized users. As much as I know I can’t predict my network infrastructure, I make proper plans for the rainy day.
In most cases, I improvise just to stop any attack of a dangerous sort. It is important for every business. You need it too. Make a hay while the sunshine. If you’ve not been planning, it means you’re planning to fail. In case you don’t have the technical know-how, to begin with, use the service of an expert.