Systems support is the ability to ensure that every computer items bought is made to continuously run smoothly for business continuity.
By computer items we mean, servers, storages, laptops, desktops, switches, and the various peripherals. When these items are bought, clients who bought such are made to enter into a support arrangement and agreement, which ensures that these items are at least in good condition and functioning well as expected at all times.
In this short piece, we shall look at some of the processes and activities expected of a vendor in order to ensuring that the computer items bought are always in a good condition.
There are majorly two types of maintenance carried out on computer and server equipment. These are preventive maintenance and corrective maintenance. We shall look at the modus operandi of these maintenance types.
It is enough to bring to our notice the fact that both clients and vendors go into an agreement to establish these support activities. Such agreement is known as service level agreement (SLA). The SLA shows the entire modus operandi of the proposed support the client is about to sign and the matrix of escalation. After this documentation is prepared, it is shared with the customer, who looks into it with their legal team ascertaining that whatever is documented is legal and binding on both parties. Once both parties have signed that it is good to go, then the support proper can begin.
Now, I shall endeavor to explain the two types of maintenance carried out on computer and ICT equipment for optimal functioning.
- Preventive maintenance: preventive maintenance of ICT equipment has to do with cleaning and vacuuming of laptops, desktops, servers, switches, storages, and racks. This is done to ensure that dust particles which has settled on and in theses equipment is vacuumed and cleaned before it brings about hitches in the way the equipment functions. The truth is that dust particles overtime settles in and on ICT equipment, and if not properly handled can make this equipment to malfunction and this, if not handled proactively, could bring about a downtime in business when these equipment fails unexpectedly. So, during preventive maintenance, as the name implies, it is a proactive process of dealing with what could cause a problem or problems in the equipment before it occurs. Also, in carrying out preventive maintenance, it is also a time to install various OEM fixes that will enable machine codes to work with various changes that has been developed by the original equipment manufacturers (OEM) over time.
- Corrective maintenance: this is done whenever there is what is known as an unplanned downtime. Unplanned downtime occurs when systems abruptly develop unavoidable faults caused by unplanned situations. A good example is when systems shutdown abruptly due to incessant power supply. Power supply source(s) may have issues which could not be controlled, which then shuts systems down abruptly, thereby causing damages and faults which needs to be remediated immediately for business continuity. At such times, corrective maintenance is carried out based on the agreements in the SLAs.
It is very important for every standard establishment to ensure that their ICT equipment are under such support agreements so as to ensure the machines in question are functioning properly and so business continuity is ensured at all times and at every level.