Is it time to upgrade your server? 5 factors to consider

“Servers are a businesses’ best friend!”

Forget the diamonds! Research shows that your server is a man/woman’s best friend! Specifically a business owner’s best friend.

Wait, what is a server? A server is hardware that stores, sends, and receives data. In essence, it “serves” something else and exists to provide services.

Similar to how you maintain your car, you must maintain your server. In our nearly 25 years in business, we find that sometimes, it’s more efficient to keep your current server than to replace it –  but eventually have to weigh at which point it’s more economical to replace it vs repair it.

Updating your office server on a regular schedule is important. Not only does it improve its performance, efficiency and reliability – it gives your staff the best chance at doing their job efficiently and effectively too, without server-induced interruptions.

Because an old server limits speed and performance, think of how that is impacting your staff’s performance and efficiency!  Sometimes you can get a few more years out of a server, but sometimes investing in a new server is more cost effective than the maintenance costs, and the decreased downtime caused by sluggish speeds.

What are five factors to consider when wondering if you should upgrade your server?

Your server’s performance backslides the older it gets

On average, server performance deteriorates by 14% annually. By the fifth year, a server has only 40% of the performance it had when it was new. Lower performance and higher failure rates increase unplanned downtime by 20% annually. At the same time, higher maintenance costs require additional investment in aging systems. It’s time to weight the age of your server, with the necessary maintenance costs, and decide if the downtime and sluggish nature is disruptive enough to your workplace to warrant replacing it altogether.

Modern features enhance asset management

Simply put, newer technologies have better, more advanced components and therefore much more effective capabilities. When you purchase a new server to replace the old one, it will come with the latest firmware and patching updates, keeping your workstations even more secure and in compliance with enterprise and government specifications. This is especially important if you’re in the medical field, working within constraints of HIPAA etc.  Sometimes the cost of limping along an old server with maintenance and parts will cost you more in the long-term than replacing it altogether. If you aren’t sure, just ask us – we can help you decide if the one you have is good enough for another few years, or if it’s time to consider replacing it.

Optimized systems accelerate performance

Modern servers improve the capability for higher virtual machine density and larger virtual machines. Wait, what does that even mean? It means that high-end business applications can migrate and run in a virtualized environment. Ok, that may still be a bit too technical, we almost even confused ourselves. But here’s one for everyone – newer servers reduce energy and cooling costs, because they have newer components and more efficient ones at that. Newer servers often have smaller footprints, require less maintenance, and have less costly licensing.  Plus, they just look beautiful and run much more quietly, with less heat output!

Predictive diagnostics improve reliability

This is the fun part! Through artificial intelligence and predictive capabilities, the newer systems can predict their own failure, and alert you before it happens! Continued usage beyond the optimal life span of servers often causes unplanned downtime due to mechanical components and software aging. Newer systems come with data-driven predictive capabilities that warn of incompatibility issues or imminent failures. Alerts in real-time about the impending failure will give you the chance to call your IT provider (hopefully us!) so we can provide you with proactive support to catch major problems before they occur!  Depending on how many workstations your server ‘serves’, it could cost you more to have it drop dead, in lost man hours and lost business, than it would to have replaced it in time. Something to consider.

Soon-to-expire service warranties

Following the average server life cycle, service contracts typically expire after three to five years. More frequent failures result in higher labor costs, and replacement parts are expensive and hard to find. Altogether, buying a new server is often more economical than extending the service contract on a legacy system.  We can help you decide what is best for your specific setup.

The team at TCR loves keeping your businesses up and running, plus we like nerdy things like replacing and maintaining servers.  Give us a shout to see what we recommend for your server!