IT Consolidation

The Growing Cost of Legacy Servers

The question of “server refresh” is one that is a challenge for many organisations. It is very easy to adopt the ‘if it is not broken, why fix it’ mentality, especially in times of austerity. Today, many organisations have large legacy Server estates of both X86 and Unix servers that have exceeded the 3 or 5 year refresh date.

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There are however, many challenges associated with running legacy servers, and business requirements will drive the need for change. So why should organisations refresh their servers?

Many organisations are now being given Co2 targets and are looking at ways to reduce power and space. Refreshing legacy servers means you will consume less power, create less Co2 and will take up less data-centre space as you will often consolidate the number of servers.

The cost of maintaining a legacy estate is generally higher than the cost of implementing a new infrastructure. With budgets continually being cut year on year, a hardware refresh can save on the on-going costs and also provide efficiencies that can return revenue to the organisation.

As systems go out of warranty or end of life they become costly to maintain. Some of these systems will no longer be supported by the vendor which means that apart from the risk of running your critical applications on old, out of date equipment, obtaining parts and fixes will also be hard to come by.

As a business grows so does the workload it generates. This increased workload is generally not capable of being run on legacy systems.

Given the business benefits of refreshing the server estate, you should consider the following questions to help you make a decision;

Q. Can the server be upgraded? If the answer is no then a refresh is the only option

Q. Does the server still have support or maintenance available from the vendor? If the answer is no then a refresh is probably the best option

Q. Does the system have headroom for growth for the application or for future applications?
Once again if the answer is no then a refresh is the only option

Q. Does the current estate of servers meet the goals set for power and cooling set by the organisation? As previously highlighted, todays servers consume less power than legacy systems so a refresh may be required to meet these targets

Q. Do you need to reduce the server footprint in the datacentre? Once again, modern servers are able to deliver better performance in a smaller footprint so a refresh is the only option if you need to reduce the amount of rack space being consumed

Q. Can you manage your entire server estate simply and deploy applications at the speed the business requires? Modern Servers and Virtualisation technologies give you greater control over the server infrastructure and allows you to deploy servers in minutes rather than days or weeks

Cloud Options

An organisation also needs to consider whether to move their infrastructure to the cloud or whether to keep their estate firmly within their own control. Applications delivered as a service are on the increase and with the emergence of cloud providers this has become more of a viable option. Full migration to the cloud has not yet happened but organisations are starting to deploy certain parts of their estate in this manner.

There is a significant amount of hype and confusion in the market around public and private cloud. At Inoapps we recognise it is important to clarify an organisations approach to Cloud first as this will obviously have an impact on the level and type of Infrastructure to be deployed.

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