When should I replace my server?
Age and performance are the key factors used to determine the lifespan of a server.
The average lifespan of a server is three years. Although servers can last longer than this, they’ll likely have more hardware problems that put your data at risk. Repairing an old server is an expensive and time-consuming endeavor that often ends in replacement anyway. As such, it’s best to anticipate replacing your server around year two of its life. This leaves you time to budget and coordinate with your IT managed service provider (IT MSP).
Ask yourself, does the cost-benefit analysis favor continued repairs or replacement? To find the answer, lookup how much a new server would cost (your IT MSP should be able to quote you a price). The price of a new server becomes your maintenance budget. Your maintenance budget is the amount of money allocated to server repairs. When the repair costs and downtime exceed the maintenance budget, it’s time to replace the server.
Are there any other options besides buying a new server?
Sometimes you can avoid buying a new server by embracing virtualization. Virtualization is when your business server is stored and maintained off-site. Data is transferred to and from your business via the internet.
The benefits of virtualization are twofold. First, you won’t need to pay for expensive new equipment. Secondly, virtualization is scalable. Scalability allows you to pay for exactly what you need, no more no less. For example, if you only need one and a half servers, you won’t need to purchase two.
If you are uncomfortable storing data completely off-site, hybrid options are available. For example, sensitive data can be stored on-site while less important data is stored off-site.
Can I do anything to avoid a complete server replacement?
Of course, there are short-term fixes that will extend the life of your server. You can upgrade servers less than 3 years old to improve degrading performance. Similarly, you can repurpose old servers for non-critical processes and buy new equipment just for the most critical tasks.
Both these solutions are short-term fixes that can only stall the inevitable for so long. Eventually, you WILL need to upgrade your equipment. As such, it’s best to anticipate and plan the transition well in advance. If you have any questions about your servers or how to improve their performance, contact us at 914-934-9775 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be happy to evaluate your computer network help you find the best solutions for your business.