Why You Should Stick to Your Server Refresh Cycle

By Lauren Fritsky


It’s understandable your organisation wants to hold on to its tried and trusted infrastructure, especially in a time when budgets are down and upgrading to the latest and greatest isn’t always feasible. Waiting too long to replace your ageing hardware, however, can actually end up costing more over the long-term. Servers still in use past their optimal three-year lifespan drive up yearly maintenance costs by 24 to 44 per cent, according to IDC figures.

If you want to maximise your ROI and server performance, it’s best to upgrade your servers every three to three-and-a-half years. Transitioning to newer server systems designed for maximum energy effectiveness, performance and manageability will enable your organisation to make the most of this upgrade opportunity.

Greater savings

Of course upgrading your infrastructure comes at a cost. But you can potentially cover that price tag with the savings you get from your new investment. The IDC figures show organisations that upgrade their servers somewhere between that three- and three-and-a-half-year sweet spot cover the payback period in just under a year. By simply upgrading their servers when the time comes, organisations can nab an ROI of more than 150 per cent over the course of three years and slash opex spend by 33 per cent. This cost reduction is usually attributable to less need for IT support and maintenance in addition to greater energy efficiency realised by updated server infrastructure. In fact, some newer offerings have built-in technology to identify which parts of the server need cooling, which cuts down on fan usage and allows servers to run with less power and in less space.

Better performance

Failure rates start to increase when servers are pushed into a fourth year, the IDC found. The reason: servers used past their due date spark more downtime and IT support costs. Failure rates tend to increase from 7 to 18 per cent for older servers; new software might also encounter compatibility problems and more patching requirements when operated on old hardware. Newer server offerings, such as the HP ProLiant Gen8 blade server, require less than 40 per cent of the aggregate power requirements to run workloads by pooling resources to prevent workloads from interfering with each other. They can also tap into greater processing power while using less rack space.

Less support needed

When servers are left ageing in data centres, it can increase the time IT staff spends on monitoring heating and cooling and rack setup and addressing downtime. The increased number of service incidents that tends to occur with ageing infrastructure means the data centre team is reduced to constantly checking server systems to prevent disruptions. The more efficient power usage and reduced cabling seen with some newer servers allows IT administrators to shift their focus away from infrastructure management and toward more high-priority tasks. What’s more, if you engage in an evaluation of your current IT environment with a solution architect team like Datacom’s, you can take the responsibilities of server procurement, design and implementation off your IT team.

Learn how Datacom solution architects can help your organisation optimise its server architecture with current HP blade server offers for maximum performance and cost savings.

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