How Often Should I Upgrade Servers?

Servers are a vital part of any business. They store company data, and mange computer applications and processes. If a Server was to fail it would result in significant cost and potential downtime. Due to the cost of replacing servers, many businesses simply wait for a server to fail before replacement occurs. While on the surface this may seem like a cost effective solution, as server’s age they become increasingly expensive to maintain. In addition, just like an older car, older servers are more prone to failure and expensive repairs. Using an old and dated server runs the risk of significant downtime while the server is being fixed, this downtime can have a significant effect in the form of lost business productivity and revenue. Generally the cost of a new server will outweigh the potential lost revenue, in addition improving computing speeds and capabilities within your IT infrastructure.

Most IT professionals recommend that servers are replaced every 3-5 years. The cost of server support is estimated to increase as much as 200% when a server is 5 years old.  At that age your server is unlikely to be performing at optimum capacity and is at a high risk of failure.

Ideally a server should be replaced before the end of warranty. Extending the warranty can be expensive, and in addition not having manufacturer support can make it very expensive to maintain, or repair a servers.

Once a decision has been made to replace an old server. It is worth considering whether your business should purchase a new server, or move to a cloud computing model instead. Cloud computing removed upfront hardware costs, through an operational cost structure. In addition the ongoing management of servers can be outsourced to an IT services provider. This enables your employees to allocate time in other areas of the business.

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