What is network maintenance?

As part of your ongoing IT support, regular and scheduled network maintenance is a core requirement. It is essential when it comes to making sure connected devices across your business operate efficiently and remain online.

Understanding network maintenance

Network maintenance involves carrying out a series of day-to-day tasks, guided by medium- to long-term planning. These may range from monitoring and tweaking to physical repair and hardware replacement.

The goal of these actions is to protect your network from issues or threats, and to ensure it continues working as it should.

A maintenance plan should be incorporated into your overall IT strategy. This provides a structure for you and your support team to refine the requirements of your network and determine how routine and emergency maintenance will be executed.

A discussion about network maintenance taking place in a server room

What is a network maintenance plan?

This is an outline document, updated periodically, which sets out what tasks need to be done, when, and how often.

The plan requires flexibility; it will need to evolve as your business, or the technology you use, changes.

The benefits of having a maintenance plan are that you can:

  • plan to minimise disruption caused by network changes or upgrades
  • minimise the impact of unexpected costs through prudent budgeting
  • reduce the chances of issues recurring.

It is helpful and important to document your network maintenance plan to include details of the services your business will need, such as:

  • running updates
  • ensuring proper installations
  • performing audits.

Why does my business need network maintenance?

Maintenance is essential if your business relies on IT, and especially if:

  • you have a growing business with a developing IT infrastructure
  • you don’t have a robust recovery plan
  • you want greater insight and understanding of your business performance (with a view to optimising it)
  • you need to tighten your cyber security.

Typical network maintenance activities

General troubleshooting and performance review  

This sits behind all aspects of your network maintenance. It essentially involves proactive tasks to detect weaknesses and prevent issues developing. This includes regular monitoring and reviews of network performance.

Audits of network performance should relate to:

  • speed
  • reliability
  • bandwidth usage
  • connection lag
  • any recurring issues.

Upgrades and improvements

These fall into two key areas:

  • replacing outdated hardware or software
  • managing updates and upgrading patch levels

Both tasks are essential to ensuring networked IT is fully optimised. When performed regularly, potential issues can be flagged before they become a problem. With effective planning and scheduling, the process will ensure minimal disruption to business operations.

Over time, software and hardware can become obsolete or inefficient. A network maintenance plan should also include identifying and planning for the implementation of new technologies.  

A diagram of a laptop being updated as part of routine network maintenance

Data backups and recovery

Backing up system and user data is a crucial task. However, it can sometimes be deprioritised amidst a task list of competing priorities.

Your approach to backing up data should co-ordinated with your recovery plan, and be kept under regular review. If disaster does strike, it is this area of your network maintenance that will enable you to recover swiftly.

Air-gapped backups, i.e. ensuring there are data backups either physically removed from the network and stored off-site, or sectioned off from the main network, should be implemented to ensure immunity to ransomware, and other types of malicious attacks.

Provided data is backed up and verified regularly across the core components of your network, permanent data loss is less likely to occur or cripple business operations.

Network security

Your network is at risk from both internal vulnerabilities (user error, outdated software, etc.) and external threats (e.g. malware attacks).

Network maintenance should include methodical but proactive monitoring of these risks, including:

  • installation of firewalls
  • virtual private networks (VPNs)
  • monitoring user access and implementing controls
  • authentication measures
  • security reports
An insecure USB flash drive being removed from a laptop


This may mean different things for different types of businesses. However, it is usually an area of governance or corporate policy in which the integrity of a network will play a role.

Your IT provider should work closely with you to ensure maintenance levels and procedures are aligned with:

  • internal polices
  • legal requirements
  • industry standards.

To ensure strict adherence, it is also important to prioritise staying atop of developments in regulatory law and policies.

Configuration changes and network documentation

As part of day-to-day maintenance, machines may need to be moved to different areas in a building, transferred to different users or replaced. Overtime, new hardware will also be added, and software profiles on machines may change with users and updates.

When changes like these occur, the configurations of machines and the network may also shift. Ensuring that these changes don’t ‘break’ existing systems, and are also tracked and recorded, should be an important facet of network maintenance.

On a global level, it is also important that the network itself is mapped and documentation for systems is kept up to date to ensure consistency in the maintenance work carried out by support teams.

When experienced support staff leave, their knowledge of your network will also disappear. Good documentation helps mitigate this problem.

Network maintenance from the experts

If you’re reviewing your IT services, would like to know more about our tailored network maintenance services or need to discuss the challenges faced by your business’ IT processes, Micro Maintenance can help.

With years of experience in the field of managed IT networks and IT support, we have the resources and expertise to adapt to your needs and ensure your network stays resilient and operational.

Get in touch today to see how our approach to network maintenance can support your business goals.

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