Do you need a server? Is your practice still using servers for in-house applications? If so, here are some things to consider before buying a new server.
New hardware doesn’t come cheap, which is why many businesses hold on to their old servers long after these machines have stopped being efficient or secure. In this blog, we explain why it’s vital to replace your servers regularly and look at alternatives that offer the same outcomes while helping you save money.
Do my servers need to be replaced?
This is a difficult question, but there are two factors you will want to consider: age and performance. The useful life of a server is around three years. While it’s not unheard of for servers to function properly beyond year three, relying on them past this point can be risky, as hardware problems may occur more often. This means you will have to deal with costly repairs and possible sudden downtime.
In terms of performance, it doesn’t make sense to keep your servers around until year three if they are slow and too costly to maintain. It’s important to compare how much money you will lose in repairs and downtime versus the cost of buying new hardware.
What is an alternative to buying new servers?
Believe it or not, the answer to your server problems might not necessarily be purchasing more physical servers. One solution is to embrace server virtualization. This process allows your servers to be stored and maintained off-site, with all your resources being delivered to your office via the internet.
There are two notable benefits of virtualizing your servers. First, you don’t have to spend a ton of money on new equipment. Second, virtualization is a scalable technology, meaning you only pay for the data capacity you use. For instance, you can have just two and a half servers, if that’s all your business needs. This is in contrast to having physical equipment, which would require your business to either make do with two servers or splurge and buy a third one even if you didn’t need all of that space.
Of course, there are a few things you need to consider before making the switch to server virtualization. One of the biggest issues is security. Ask yourself if you feel comfortable keeping all of your data off-site. While this isn’t a concern for some companies, others may not see this as palatable. There are several workarounds to this issue, including the hybrid option where you keep sensitive data on-site and everything else off-site.
How to prevent a full-scale server replacement?
Yes. It’s certainly possible for you to buy some time and give your current servers additional life, but these are short-term fixes, not long-term solutions. Server upgrades are a good place to start if your servers are less than three years old but are performing poorly. Installing additional CPUs or memory may increase server performance at a fraction of the cost of buying new servers.
It’s also possible to extend the life of servers that may have four or five years of wear-and-tear on them via repurposing. Instead of swapping out all of your servers, use the old ones for non-critical processes and purchase new ones to handle critical workloads. This will help you get a better ROI on your technology while avoiding a wholesale hardware purchase, which could cripple your budget.
If you have any questions about your servers and how you can increase their performance, get in touch with us today. We can help you procure new hardware or explore other alternatives such as server virtualization.