There are many reasons to have a server in house as opposed to using a hosted (in the cloud) server. Like anything else, there comes a time to replace it. Resellers and IT service providers salivate at this idea so they can make the sale. But how do you know when to replace it? This article should help you determine that.
Manufacturers of servers stop supporting them at some point. That means you can’t get support for a malfunction on the server, the hardware. Manufacturers of the software that runs the server, like Microsoft who makes Windows Server Operating System, stop supporting a particular version, like Windows Server 2003, at some point. What also happens along the way is technology improves and requires a certain level of functionality to work with. What I mean is, an operating system may require a better, stronger, newer technology to run on, like a server that is not older than 7 years. Conversely, a new server will not work with an old version of an operating system because the old Operating System (OS) can’t work with the newer technology in the server. So many times we have seen companies holding on to their old servers and the antiquated OS because “it has never been a problem and it works just fine”. Well, let me give you an example why this strategy is not the best idea.
Say you have an old server running an old OS as well as running Microsoft Exchange. For this example, assume that all of this is very old. You decide to upgrade because another software product you need for your business, that would be loaded on to this server, can’t work with these old products. Now you must upgrade before you buy that new software. An upgrade will require the migration of the data to the new server. If your server and associated software is too old, this step will not be a direct migration. You will have to migrate in steps. For example, from Exchange 2003 to 2010 to 2016. You will need to purchase the intermediate software version, load it on another server and then migrate to that first. Then, when all is working well after that first migration, you can load the final latest version on the new server and then migrate to that. See my point? All of this will take a lot more service hours which means a lot more money. You may have saved money earlier by not upgrading your server but in the long run you are now paying a much bigger price because your products are too old.
You can call the manufacturers of each product you own and find out their respective support life. Server manufactures will tell you what software version their servers can work with. After finding this information you can then better determine when the time is to upgrade your server. Trust me, it will be cheaper in the long run to not wait too long.
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ASE, Inc. is an IT technical support services and consulting firm in the Washington DC Metro area. Since 2000 ASE has focused on providing outsourced IT department services to small and medium businesses as well as providing senior level expertise designing, installing and managing complex networks as well as security consulting to very large entities in both commercial and federal markets. Call ASE today – 703-273-8388.