With Halloween fast approaching, here is some food for thought (and when I say ‘food’…
Every situation is unique dictated by specific demands that influence the need to upgrade or replace. Compliance, performance, age, energy consumption, maintenance costs, and security are a few that come to mind.
We tell our children that want and need are different and they shouldn’t influence each other. Sometimes the shiny new object is hard to resist. A server upgrade, no matter the size of a company, is typically disruptive to business, expense and likely to consume a big chunk of the budget. Is it necessary, the right time, and will the ROI be there?
As data centers grow and consume more of a company’s energy budget through power and cooling, it seems logical to upgrade devices such as servers and storage to a bigger, better, and more efficient version. The government, local utility companies and hardware manufacturers tell us it’s the best approach and it will benefit the organization long term? Easy for them to say since it isn’t their money.
The government started certifying servers through its Energy Star program in 2013. Since that time, server compute power has increased as have operational efficiencies along with optimization software. A server that met Energy Star compliance in 2019 is slightly less efficient than a new one today, however it’s better than a 2015 model. Will the cost of replacing a 2019 vintage server be justified by the incremental energy savings and increased performance? Potentially, but the argument exists to upgrade components and keep it in production for a year or two more.
A server upgrade that includes increasing memory, replacing hard drives, and processors will improve performance and extend useful life. These upgrade costs are low compared with replacement. Using refurbished components can further drive down costs making it an even more attractive and cost effective option.
Another area to save – Manufacturer maintenance. Contracts typically expire after three years and renewals skyrocket. Maintenance from a third-party company is usually about 50% lower and can come with perks like a US call center, advanced replacement, and improved SLA’s.
Don’t be so quick to replace your servers when users want better performance. Explore the options and the results will surprise you.