If Your server hardware is more than 5 years Old it could be a ticking time bomb.
Don’t be alarmed, depending on useage and environment play a large roll in the longevity of the system It may never actually “blow up” which is to say, melt down and take lots of data with it. But one day, sooner or later, it will become obsolete. And for your business, that’s potentially an explosive liability.
The older hardware is, and the more hazardous, meaning heat and humidity it is exposed to, the more likely that a failure and loss of productivity will occur. In general, a company can avoid big expenses by updating its server components especially moving parts, every three years. If it waits five years, then there’s a big risk of being compelled to upgrade many components simultaneously.
What options require upgrading?
We recommend a holistic approach to a server is correct for most businesses. Hardware and software generally age at about the same rate. In other words, the machines need to be modernized at roughly the same interval as the server operating system is updated, give or take a few months.
So is your server ready for a once over? Here are eight signs.
1. If it crawls. When your server gets slow, it’s time for some new iron. We recommend taking a look at both disk and CPU (central processing unit) usage. When you’re at about 80%, it’s time to start looking around. Slow servers, of course, mean a less productive work force. Can you afford that?
2. If it’s noisy. As fans and hard drives age, you will notice they will become noisier. This is typically a good indicator that hardware failure is just around the corner. Computers are like cars; they have only so much mileage before they start falling apart. Dying fans can cause the system to overheat and cause a Catastrophic Failure. If drives begin making noise the bearings are failing and drives will fail soon. This is a sure sign that you will lose data and will need to recover from a backup. Therefore, Backups are always very important.
3. If something doesn’t feel right. Maybe it takes longer and longer to do the same function. If you are getting more errors showing up in your event log. If you or your IT person is spending more time on the server. If you, or your IT person, have a sinking feeling about the server, chances are it could be ready for an upgrade of some kind.
4. If the server is running low on space. If the requirement of the software that runs on the server exceeds the server’s specifications, then you need a new server. Small-business users shouldn’t just try to manage a space or memory crisis in the short term, but to think about the company’s long-term needs. Planning is the key. Will you be adding more staff that will need access to this machine? Will you be upgrading the software that runs on the server in the near future? These are questions that you have got to ask yourself.
5. If It’s performance is otherwise impaired. Does your server seize up often? Does the box have problems resolving conflicts? Even if things run smoothly otherwise, these occasional “hiccups” may be a sign that the server is running up against the limits of its performance. Most businesses have a hard time tracking these issues until it’s too lates. I recommend monitoring tools that report on the health and status of their servers. They provide information for capacity planning and alerts of trouble signs.
6. If the big one happens. There usually isn’t a telltale sign that your server needs to be upgraded, in terms of hardware, until a catastrophic failure occurs. After a meltdown, there’s normally a “scramble” to replace operating systems and applications. Frequently, those are discontinued, or support has been discontinued, and that’s usually when a business discovers that it should have upgraded long ago. It is much easier to upgrade in a planned manner than to scramble at the last minute to resolve a crisis.
One last disclaimer: Many times there may be no signs or warnings that are apparent to the users on the network. But the time bomb is still ticking.
Ready to upgrade?
If so, Remember to purchase a server with plenty of storage capacity for the next 3 to 5 years with dual processors, hardware raid, and Plenty of RAM memory.
In fact, three years seems to be the magic number for server upgrades. We recommend an upgrade every three years for servers that host critical functions, as do many other server gurus. But be sure keep the aging servers. Older servers can be used for testing new software, or hosting functions with lower reliability requirements.
Paying attention to the age and health of your server, and using a little common sense can tell you when you need an upgrade. If your servers are mission-critical, you might also have a disaster plan in place.
If you’re prepared for the worst, updating servers is a much less risky proposition. If you aren’t prepared for the worst, Murphy’s Law will take over.