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CMI Blog

When is it time for a server upgrade?

 

Server_new_mainLike with any piece of tech, your server is an investment that depreciates over time. On average, server performance erodes by 14% annually. By the fifth year, a server has only 40% of the performance quality it had when it was new. Lower performance and higher failure rates increase unplanned downtime by 20% annually, negatively impacting your business. So when is the best time for a server upgrade?

Your provider no longer supports your server

The average warranty term is about 3-5 years. After that time, a manufacturer is no longer responsible for providing server support. Servers older than 5 years old are at higher risk of failure.

After your warranty period, in the event of a server breakdown, there’s no guarantee that your provider will even have the hardware to fix your damaged server.

Manufacturers may even phase out support across the board. In July of this year, Microsoft ceased support for SQL Server 2008. Windows Server 2008 is reaching End of Support in January 2020, including all security updates. Businesses operating these services will have to migrate to keep their infrastructure and applications protected, if they haven’t already done so. This is because running an unsupported operating system leads to security vulnerabilities and computer reliability issues.

If you are operating with Windows SQL Server or Windows Server 2008, now is the perfect time to start planning your upgrade.

Performance is deteriorating

According to experts, companies that continue to use servers beyond their optimal life span experience over five hours of unplanned downtime throughout the year. This doesn’t like much, but it can significantly affect employee productivity and revenue.

So how can you be sure your server’s performance is deteriorating? Slow speeds due to network latency are one clear indicator. Another indicator that your server performance is deteriorating is the amount of noise it makes – a server’s moving parts such as the hard drive and fans will get louder with age and can only withstand a certain amount of wear and tear before they finally give up. The noise coming from your server room could be a big clue.

Running out of space

Taking on more staff, installing more applications, or a software upgrade will all require more storage and memory capacity. When you start running low on free disk space or RAM, it would be wise to plan ahead for the longer term. Depending on your server’s specifications, you may be able to simply upgrade the server’s existing RAM and hard drives. If this is not an option, or if it would only be an interim solution, it may be better to upgrade to a server that can provide the capacity you need to accommodate future business growth. 

New technology is available

The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend is well and truly underway. Employees bringing smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices into the workplace will expect them to work on the company network. To make sure your company stays ahead of the technological curve, it’s important that BYOD is not held back by your server. The latest server operating systems are designed to work with a range of devices such as iPhones and tablets, whereas old servers utilise operating systems that were written before the mobility boom. Instead of attempting to retrofit your server to provide a degree of mobile support, you could upgrade the OS on your current server (hardware permitting) or take the plunge and invest in a new mobile-ready server that fits with the most up-to-date technology. You could even decide to move to a cloud or virtual server – they are scalable, fast and secure and it is very quick to upgrade and add disk space with a cloud-based solution.

Managing costs

Servers take a great deal of energy to run and management is expensive. From cooling to licensing, they burn through budget just like they do electricity.

If you’re using old server hardware, designed before the age of power management, it could be burning energy without consideration for your company’s efficiency needs. Upgrading to modern server software or hardware will reduce the energy expenditure and, by extension, the server running costs for your business. It could be that an on-premise server may no longer be the right solution. Moving to the cloud could allow for higher capacity, flexibility and cost-saving, and would free your business from the operational impact of running hardware.

Whatever the server solution for you, we can advise upon and deliver your upgrade with our bespoke Hardware and Software Services.

To find out more, please contact us today.

About CMI

We take care of your IT, so you can focus on running your business. Whether you are looking for a comprehensive outsourced IT support service or something more flexible, CMI can help. As industry-leading specialists in network security, business continuity, hardware and software provision, cloud computing and Internet services, CMI has been helping businesses gain a competitive edge through technology for 25 years.  Call today on 020 8875 7676 to learn more and sign up for a free consultation.

 

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Darron Millar

Darron Millar is Technical Director at BTA Limited. With 20 years of experience in the IT services industry, his areas of expertise include SME IT Consultancy, Cyber Security, and Project Management. Passionate about IT, Darron is dedicated to being a trusted advisor to clients who wish to leverage technology to enhance and support their business.