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Learning More About Technology

When I realized that I wanted to go back to school, I stopped to think about what I would need to do. It had been years since I cracked open a textbook, much less learned something new on a computer. However, I wanted to succeed, so I started to learn more about technology. I spent hours brushing up on my computer troubleshooting skills and when I was done, I felt a little more prepared. After I started school, I learned even more. I made this blog to teach other people a little about technology, so that you can keep up with your peers.



Learning More About Technology

Knowing When To Let Go Of Your Server Hardware

by Alyssa Bates

Getting the most value out of your server hardware often means squeezing every last penny you can get out of it. But there always comes a point in time where it's better to fold than to hold. According to Computerworld, a typical server may last 5 years under a normal enterprise environment, but there are countless factors that could shorten or extend that life cycle. This article will give you tips on recognizing when it's time for a new server. 

When Your Hardware No Longer Supports the Latest Features

Whether its improved thermal management, advanced virtualization technology or more efficient power conservation, having access to the latest features can improve server performance and increase overall productivity. However, these features may not be available in older server equipment. Not all systems can be upgraded, and even existing upgrades may not offer the feature set demanded by users.

When Workload Performance Suffers

While mechanical wear and tear is a factor for determining server life cycles, it's also important to consider how well a server handles its workloads throughout its life. Workload performance can steadily degrade over time, especially as your user base expands and as workload demands increase. Each patch, application update or new software feature could bring your hardware closer to being unable to adequately address these new demands.

Once it becomes apparent that your current server hardware is unable to shoulder these ever-increasing burdens, it's time to consider an upgrade to newer equipment capable of handling your increased workloads.

When Your Server Hardware Becomes Unreliable

The older your server hardware gets, the greater the risk of a breakdown becomes. Even in a perfect operating environment (with low temperatures, excellent ventilation and efficient power management), it becomes harder to predict server reliability as the equipment grows in age. The deployment of clustering technologies could help improve reliability in aging servers, but these gains may not be long-term.

Once your server begins to suffer failures due to aging hardware, increased workloads or an insufficient feature set, it's time to retire that server in favor of newer and more reliable equipment. After all, the time and effort spent by your IT team nursing along a constantly broken server could be put towards installing and optimizing its replacement.

If you rely on a server vendor or another third-party organization to maintain your server hardware, it could prove increasingly expensive to maintain service contracts for your existing equipment. With this in mind, it may be more affordable to upgrade to newer, more reliable server equipment.

When Replacement Parts are No Longer Available

Nothing lasts forever, especially when it comes to parts availability for server hardware. Rapid and continuous advances in server technology make it difficult for vendors to maintain parts for a broad range of server equipment. At some point, you'll have to expect that you won't be able to find new parts for your aging server.

Of course, there's always purchasing and cannibalizing off-lease server equipment for parts. However, there comes a time when the time and expense of chasing down a dwindling parts supply exceeds the cost of purchasing new server hardware.

When It Comes Time to Harmonize Your Hardware

Having a mix of different hardware equipment could make efforts to utilize hardware-based systems management tools such as integrated Lights-Out (iLO) exceptionally difficult to pursue. These systems often require a homogenous equipment environment, which could be nearly impossible to achieve with your current equipment. If this is an issue for your company, replacing your current server hardware could be just the opening you've been looking for.

When Your Asset Becomes a Liability

The majority of companies treat their servers and other IT infrastructure as assets, and as such, these assets are capitalized over a period of several years. Over time, the value of this equipment depreciates until it eventually reaches a value of 0. After that, the equipment becomes more of a financial liability due to the care and upkeep required of it.

Once you've fully capitalized your server hardware, it usually makes more financial sense to purchase replacement equipment rather than hold on to a rapidly aging and essentially valueless asset.  

These are just a few tips on when it's time to replace your server. For more information about server maintenance or replacement, contact a local hardware company or visit http://www.virtualtechnology.com/.