It would make life easier all around if you indicated what distribution you have. For SuSE, you could install ssh and enable it in YaST. On SuSE and others you could instead run "/sbin/chkconfig --list sshd" to check if the service is running:
sshd 0:off 1:off 2:off 3:on 4:off 5:on 6:off
If you have the /sbin/chkconfig command, you can use it to check if sshd is enabled, or enable it for certain run levels.
sudo /sbin/chkconfig -s sshd 35
However some distro's use a different model for starting services, and some use different run level numbers.
Before doing that, it would be a good idea to secure the service. Look in "man sshd_config" for information on all the options. I would recommend disallowing root logins. Also, if only one user is authorize to login, then I would recommend using "AllowUsers <username
>", or if a handful of users can log in, create a group and add the users to that group. Then use "AllowGroup <sshgroupname
It would also be a good idea to only support ssh version 2. Many people also change the port number to reduce the number of script kiddie brute force attacks.