What is server management ?
Server management is a broad term having no fixed definition(s) to it, making it confusing for everyone to understand what it actually is and what are the offerings in it. Server management can be classified into support category and also in the service category. No one is yet able to figure out the exact definition of the term Server Management because a definition can be made if there is a fixed meaning.
Server management as a Support (Basic):
A basic level of support to the server, like rebooting the server, providing console to access the server, in emergency, etc. Only basic level of system administration is expected in this type of service. This type of service is specially provided by the server provider or DC along with the server that is purchased from them with no additional cost.
Server management as a Service (SMaaS):
A service that includes advance level of specialized support to the server that includes each and every technical aspects of the server to be managed. This type of service is specially offered give professional and skilled expertise for managing the server. Installation of application, troubleshooting low-to-high level server issues, performing maintenance tasks, disaster recovery management and planning. Providing a full consultation and guidance. This type of service is cost effect for those who lacks technical skills and expertise to understand things on the server and troubleshoot on-going issues.
The terms like IaaS, PaaS has taken lot of attention over the past few years, but SMaaS is yet to come into picture since it has been around for more than decades. One reason it has not yet got so much of attention could be because it is yet to be fully understand by the masses.
For a newbie, if you have a server and you don't what to do with it or you are confused what you can do with it, you require someone who you can consult with, in short, you want someone to manage it for you and this is what constitutes the term "server management." Closely related to a term like finance management. For example, you have finance, but you don't know what to do with it, where to invest, etc., you require a consultant who will manage this for you. Same does go with server management or you can say server advisor or consultant.
To me being a part of SMaaS is full of adventure and learning more things everyday...
What should I look for when hiring such services ?
If you are looking for a server management service, it is very important for you to know following things before you choose anyone to the job:
- What team will be working on your server.
- Are they proficient enough to take care of your server.
- Who are the team members that will be working for you.
- Transparency in service.
Practically, it is impossible for a single person to work for 24 hours a day, so to ensure that your server works 24 hours smoothly, a team has to be there whenever needed and so, you should know what team will be working for you? Will they work as a team to meet your goals? What is the team size?
It's your server, so you should be very careful and should be aware of team members who is going to handle your server, because you don't want to end up giving your server to someone who you don't recognize. There are lot of small service management providers, but they do not display their team size, their capabilities, etc. It's just like giving your server in the someone's hand without knowing whether the person you are giving the job is working on it himself or is there anyone other working on it without you not letting it find. This is the transparency that you should be expecting before hiring anyone for a job/task.