Letting go is hard to do, especially when it comes to hardware and software that has long served you well. As companies look for new ways to reduce costs and go lean, many of them assume they can get away with using their existing technology until they “can’t ride that horse no more.” While buying a car and running it into the ground might make some sense financially, taking that approach with your business servers — the backbone of your network infrastructure — is counterproductive.
In an attempt to squeeze every bit of value out of an aging server, you sacrifice efficiency in the name of cost. And often, you sacrifice cost as well. In fact, servers suffer an appreciable decline in peak performance annually: a four year old server can be expected to run at less than 55% of its original, out of the box capacity. Generally speaking, the effective lifespan of a server isn’t much more than 3 years, but that doesn’t stop companies from trying to eke as many as 10 years out of their little black boxes.
In doing so, companies turn to replacement parts and periodic upgrades in an attempt to avoid end of life, but this means contending with mounting application management and server administration expenditures — not to mention the skyhigh price of trying to cool down an energy-guzzling legacy server — money that would no doubt be better spent on equipment that doesn’t typify the sunk cost fallacy.
Truth is, server technology grows by leaps and bounds every year, so the longer you kick the can of upgrading down the road, the more you risk falling behind, too. Newer applications often require beefier specs, not just in the hardware department, but the software department as well. Yet despite this fact, a large number of companies are still running on Windows Server 2003. Yes, you read that correctly.
Just as concerning are the number of businesses who haven’t migrated from Server 2008, too, which will reach its scheduled end of life next year — a topic we recently discussed in our post about why you should consider upgrading to Windows 10. Now, not only are these companies sacrificing performance and cost, but they’re also playing a dangerous game of security chicken with hackers. When server software reaches the end of its lifecycle, the developer stops releasing the patches and updates you’ve long relied upon to avoid vulnerabilities.
The key to preventing a lapse in security, server downtime, or (heaven forbid) a breach, is to design a plan for managing the IT various life cycles of your business’ assets. If something breaks, the last thing you want to learn is that you’re three weeks out of warranty. If you’re finding that programs are processing at a snail’s pace, it might be time to determine whether your trusty server has overstayed its welcome.
Contact JNT TEK to learn more about how to best maintain your key network infrastructure and develop a proper IT lifecycle management strategy.