How to Know When it is Time to Replace Your Server

How much would it cost you if your server failed today?  How many employees would you have to pay hourly wages while they wait for their data to be available?  If you sell goods, how many customers wouldn't get their orders taken or be able to schedule service with you, if your server is unavailable?  How many customers wouldn't get their orders shipped because you don't know what they ordered or even who to call because all that information is on your server?  If you’re a doctor’s office, will you know which patients are coming in and what their history is?  Can you afford to NOT replace your server before it fails?

Does your server hardware need to be replaced?  The older your hardware is, the more likely it is to fail and cause a loss of productivity. I will go over a few scenarios to help you answer this question.

  1. Server’s age. If your server is more than 3 years old, you may want to consider replacing it. Think about the components of the server and the moving parts. The system board and processor have electricity flowing through them 24/7. The hard drives in which your valuable data lies have been spinning in circles nonstop for over 30,000 hours. The longer they run, the closer to failure they are.
  2. Operating System. The Operating system of your server may be out of date and no longer supported by Microsoft. When Microsoft comes out with newer versions of their software, they eventually stop supporting their previous versions. What this means to you is that you will no longer be able to obtain updates and security fixes. If hackers find a new way to cause problems on an old Operating System, the software company will not fix the software or make security patches available.
  3. Slow Performance. When your server's performance is above 70% and the drive space is low, it will cause the server to run slow. Server performance can cause your employees to have to wait for files, documents,  images or other items requested from the server. Reduced performance equals loss of productivity. The slower your server, the less productive your employees will be.
  4. Warranty has expired. If your server warranty has expired, chances are that you would not be able to get a part replacement in a timely manner. Additionally, if you do find the part it may have to be used and you would be buying it without warranty or guarantee that it actually would work.
  5. Out of storage space. Between the times you purchased your server and today, you have saved a lot of data and information. The more files, documents, spreadsheets and video's or images you copy to the server, the less drive space you will have available. If your drive space is running low, it is cheaper to replace the drives than the entire server but you are taking a big risk that the rest of the server hardware is going to continue without issue.
  6. Frequent problems. Do you ever come into the office on Mondays and your server is off or it is randomly rebooting? Are your backups constantly failing, exceeding one tape or running all night and into the workday causing your server to run slow? Are your users experiencing issues with connectivity? Do you have to call
    your IT Company for assistance due to lack of connectivity or errors on the screen? Then you may want to consider replacing that unit.

If any of the above questions were answered with a yes, then let me give you a little food for thought. Let’s look at the cost of replacing the server versus waiting till it fails. If you replace your server before the old one crashes, you can save a lot of time, money and frustration. An engineer can attach a new server to your network and perform an upgrade. This will reduce the overall time it will take to have the server replaced and be the least invasive and productive hindering from your employees stand point. If you wait till your server crashes to get it replaced then you will experience a much larger expense. First, we will need to troubleshoot the existing server and see if it is recoverable. If the server is totally dead a replacement will need to be ordered (7-14 days). The new server will need to be setup and configured and all workstations will need to be setup for this server. All data will have to be restored from media such as tape (if your backup was working). The user’s PCs will be configured to talk to a different server so all printers, shortcuts, favorites, e-mails and desktop settings will have to be reconfigured.

As you can see if you take a proactive approach to server replacement, your company can save a substantial  amount of money from several angles. Server downtime can be a big hit to your bottom line. Let a Nashville Computer team member evaluate your system and see if it would be wise for you to replace that aging server. This time of evaluating your server would also be a good time to evaluate Cloud Computing and/or setup your entire network on a proactive management plan.

Let our Nashville Computer team of experts guide you to the perfect customized IT solutions for your business.