Servers- Three questions you need to be asking!

When do they need to be replaced?

Do I have to buy a new one?

Can I do anything to prevent a full-scale replacement?

When working properly, you would never even know a server was there- however if something does go wrong, servers can bring your business operations to a standstill. They are in most ways, the heartbeat of your business. Here are the three questions your need to be asking about your servers…

When do they need to be replaced?

There is not often a typical pinpoint, however, two factors need to be taken into account: Age and Performance

• Age- the typical shelf life of a server is about three years, after this the costs to maintain them tend to rise dramatically. Of course it’s not unheard of for your server to function well beyond three years, however their reliability can become risky- with possible downtime and expensive repairs.

• Performance- if your server is starting to cost you a lot to maintain and is running slowly, even if it’s only one year old- it might be worth discussing buying a new one. Make sure you do a cost benefit analysis and work out how much this server would cost you in potential repairs or downtime in comparison to getting new hardware.

Do I have to buy a new one- is there an alternative?

If you are experiencing problems with your current server- buying a new one might not be the best option for you. Virtualisation is a potential alternative. This is a process that allows your servers to the stored and maintained off-site- everything you need is delivered to your office via the internet.

The two benefits of this are:

• Costs saving in buying new equipment

• You only ever pay for the space you use

When considering Virtualisation as an option you need to think about the amount of sensitive data that you have within your business. If this is a large issue, there are hybrid options for you to consider whereby you can keep your sensitive data onsite whilst everything else is virtualised. Read more on Virtualisation here! 

Can I do anything to prevent a full-scale replacement?

You can- however it’s important to remember that these are often short term fixes and not long term solutions. You can start with a server upgrade if it is less than three years old. Another option is adding memory or central processing units (CPU’s), these can increase performance at a fraction of the cost.

CPU’s are effectively like adding another control centre or ‘brain’ to your server, increasing its efficiency and speed.

Another alternative is to ‘re-purpose’ your old servers, i.e. use them for non-critical areas of the business and purchase new ones to handle critical workload. This technique will get you a better Return on Investment on your tech.

The most important thing to remember is to not be afraid to ask the questions- your business could be at risk!

For any further server related questions or to ask how we can introduce you to Virtualisation techniques, please do no hesitate to get in touch- we are an IT Support company based in Lancaster, Preston and throughout the North West. Call us on 01524 581 690 or email [email protected].

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