Should we reboot our servers?

The short but not very helpful answer is yes.  This article however trys to help you find the answers of how and when.  We at believe that it all depends on what the system can handle, what the business can accept, and when can take the system down.  It's rare that a system truly does have to be up 24x7x365.  Most normal situations call for outage windows which can be used to apply patches and reboot the systems.  You really probably should reboot a system, patches or not, around every 90-120 days.  That doesn't mean they can't stay up longer.  I had one system I choose to reboot every 180 days just to make sure it never hit the kernel bug at 368 days.  Even on Linux rebooting a system is healthy and tends to improve performance for the short run.  No matter what reboot your systems when it makes sense. 

Brian Wagner

Brian started working with *nix in while a student at Kent State University in the early 90's. In 1995, as an E-Mail Administrator for Caliber Technology (now part of Fedex) he was tasked with administering Sendmail on both Slackware Linux and Solaris Systems. His first home install of Linux was MkLinux DR1 in 1996 on his 60 Mhz PowerMac. Since then Brian has been working and consulting on Linux and it's uses in the Enterprise to support everything from E-Mail, Firewalls, Web and File serving to custom cluster solutions and grid solutions. Brian has had the opportunity to work in both Fortune 500 companies and small 2 person organizations. This has given him the unique insight into the differences every size business faces.