There are common preventive maintenance techniques that should continually be performed for a network to operate properly. In an organization, if one computer is malfunctioning, generally only that user is affected. But if the network is malfunctioning, many or all users are unable to work.

Preventive maintenance is just as important for the network as it is for the computers on a network. You must check the condition of cables, network devices, servers, and computers to make sure that they are kept clean and are in good working order. One of the biggest problems with network devices, especially in the server room, is heat. Network devices do not perform well when overheated. When dust gathers in and on network devices, it impedes the proper flow of cool air and sometimes even clogs the fans. It is important to keep network rooms clean and change air filters often. It is also a good idea to have replacement filters available for prompt maintenance. You should develop a plan to perform scheduled maintenance and cleaning at regular intervals. A maintenance program helps prevent network downtime and equipment failures.

As part of a regularly scheduled maintenance program, inspect all cabling. Make sure that cables are labeled correctly and labels are not coming off. Replace worn or unreadable labels. Always follow the company’s cable labeling guidelines. Check that cable supports are properly installed and no attachment points are coming loose. Cabling can become damaged and worn. Keep the cabling in good repair to maintain good network performance. Refer to wiring diagrams if needed.

Check cables at workstations and printers. Cables are often moved or kicked when they are underneath desks. These conditions can result in loss of bandwidth or connectivity.

As a technician, you may notice that equipment is failing, damaged, or making unusual sounds. Inform the network administrator if you notice any of these issues to prevent unnecessary network downtime. You should also be proactive in the education of network users. Demonstrate to network users how to properly connect and disconnect cables, as well as how to move them, if necessary.