A right set of Server Management tools make server maintenance easy.
You will need tools for 24/7 monitoring, managing users, server security, backups, and more.
We routinely use many such tools in our customer’s servers as part of our Server Management Services.
In this write-up, we’ll take a quick look at the top server management tools that we have found useful.
Factors to consider while choosing Server Management Tools
Isn’t all tools just the same?
The simple answer is No.
The longer a tool has been in existence, and the larger the userbase is, chances are that the features will be free of bugs, and there will be active support from the community for custom deployments.
When planning for any server tool, we have to consider other factors like,
- Server type – The same tool may be good in Linux servers, but not in Windows
- Cost – The amount you can spend on a tool. Here we can choose between open-source and paid tools.
- Type of server tasks – The tasks that need to be handled frequently
- Level of automation – Tools that support a high level of automation works the best
- Product maturity – Tools with a larger userbase & an active dev team are likely to have lesser bugs
Popular Server Management tools
Server management as such involves a vast list of tasks. It can be server monitoring, user management, hack prevention, and many more.
Being in the Server Management Industry for more than two decades, our Server Engineers manage server infrastructure with a wide variety of tools.
Let’s now see the top tools in each of these areas.
1. Server Monitoring tools
One of the most important tasks in server management is server monitoring. The top open-source tools that help in real-time server monitoring are
- Zabbix – Monitoring tool for servers, virtual machines, and even cloud servers.
- Nagios – Similar tool that offers monitoring services
- Icinga – Yet another server and network monitoring application
These tools come with a user-friendly interface that shows the server’s status. Thus Server Management Engineers can quickly know whether there are disk space, memory errors on the server. As a result, it allows taking proactive actions that avoid server failures.
These tools can be configured to send real-time email alerts too.
2. Tools that avoid server attacks
On the Internet, a server can be attacked at any time. Therefore, having programs to avoid server attacks is a must. Here also there is a list of paid as well as free tools.
- CSF/LFD – This program eases server firewall management. It comes as a quick way to block suspicious IP addresses on the server.
- Openvas – Looks for vulnerable files on each account by scanning it.
- Maldet – Alerts users about the malicious files and moves them to a specific folder.
- APF – Advanced Policy firewall also manages IP tables rules on the server.
- ModSecurity – This avoids web server-based attacks. It blocks suspicious access on any website. It is highly customizable according to the server requirements.
3. A control panel for daily user management
Similarly, a control panel is a quick way to do daily user tasks. These can be website addition, creating email users, adding databases, etc. and many more. It will be a wise choice to use free control panels like Webmin, VestaCP, CentOS Web Panel, etc. They have options to do all the basic tasks.
For those server owners looking for advanced features will have to go for Licensed control panels like cPanel, Plesk, DirectAdmin. Such panels come with one-click app installers, advanced backup options, etc.
4. For automation
Imagine you have a server farm and need to replicate a change in all servers.
That’s where automation comes as a boon.
Tools like Ansible, Puppet, etc. helps in automating server related tasks.
Ansible works as provisioning, configuration, and deployment tool.
Likewise, we also make use of the open-source software configuration management and deployment tool like Puppet.
5. Tools for server backup and recovery
Server management often needs ways to take account backup and recover it. These backups will be of help during a website crash.
Tools like Rsync, Bacula, etc. are the open-source solutions that make backup tasks easy.
Rsync protocol provides quick means to backup and synchronizes data. It helps to make local backups. Also, it can sync data across the Internet to other hosts.
Bacula is a set of open-source computer programs that allow the management of backup, recovery, and network storage of data.
[Need help in choosing the right Server Management tools? We can help you.]
In short, the right set of Server Management tools makes server administration easy. Today, we saw the top tools that our Support Engineers use in ensuring a reliable server.