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I am documenting a piece of software that will be transferred to a customer. The customer will run the software continuously. They may choose to update and improve it, but this is optional.

To keep the software running smoothly, there is a minimum set of upkeep tasks that must be done periodically. Things like checking error logs, testing server uptime, making backups, and so on.

For the document, I want a recognizable term to describe this set of activities. Here are words I thought of so far, which I feel are inadequate:

  • Minimum upkeep tasks
  • Maintenance mode
  • Life support activities
  • Bare-bones operation
  • Though it's on your "inadequate" list, I think "minimum upkeep tasks" works well, with one change: "minimal upkeep tasks." That, or a variation that preserves "minimal" and "upkeep." – pyobum Aug 10 '16 at 8:32
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    I've seen the term "Base operations" to describe the tasks needed to support a system. You might also warp several together and use "Base support operations" – MAP Aug 10 '16 at 9:04
  • 'Low maintenance' is a set phrase (often applied to gardens / gardening). 'Low maintenance schedule'? – Edwin Ashworth Aug 10 '16 at 9:18
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    I suggest essential maintenance. – TonyK Aug 10 '16 at 12:55
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I'll suggest "housekeeping".

Operations such as maintenance ... which facilitate productive work in an organization.

The term "housekeeping" has risen in popularity in usage to describe the minimal set of tasks or routines to keep things in order. In your context you could say:

You need not update this software but there are a number of housekeeping exercises that you should conduct to keep it running smoothly.

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