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Chapter 24. The Business Web Site > Ongoing Systems Management Services

Ongoing Systems Management Services

Once the Web presence is up and running, there are many ongoing tasks. These include various management and administration functions.

  • Application management assures that the applications operate correctly and at peak efficiency. It includes activities related to the applications, such as account administration, ongoing performance analysis, trend prediction, capacity planning, configuration management, upgrade management, and much more.

  • Database administration is a specialized discipline to provide services similar to the above but for the specific database management systems that are part of the site. Modern database management systems are so complex that they require special expertise to support them. In addition to the activities listed above, this task includes overseeing data backups, data uploads, and data extracts. If the Web site includes a “high-availability” database configuration, such as a “cluster,” this task will include data synchronization across multiple servers.

  • System administration is the task of making sure the operating systems on the servers work at peak efficiency. It includes activities related to the system software, such as the ones described for application management. Additionally, it oversees system backups, restores, and the writing of scripts to automate normal maintenance procedures.

  • Security administration makes sure the Web site is not harmed by the security threats arrayed against it. Security also deals with any penetration, should it occur. It includes activities related to all security measures within the Web site, such as the firewalls, security features of the network equipment, servers, database management systems, application servers, and the applications themselves.

  • Network administration is the task in charge of efficient network operations as they relate to the elements within the Web site (such as network routers and switches) and the network services provided to you by the companies that connect your Web site to the Internet.

  • Alarm response activates and executes appropriate alarm response procedures based on information provided by monitoring systems. It includes an initial appraisal of the problem to determine whether it is real or an artifact of some other event within the system.

  • Notification and escalation happen when it is determined there is a real problem. In that case, the necessary individuals are alerted that action is required. And if needed, an escalation plan is executed, with progressively higher-level staff notified.

  • Problem resolution is the reaction to a problem, once detected. The right resources are moved to action, ideally without further help, or support contracts with hardware and software vendors may be triggered to address the problem.

  • Regular maintenance is performed periodically to ensure correct and efficient operation of the Web presence. It includes regular data backups, sending storage media to secure, off-site locations, performing emergency procedure drills, and much more.



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