Mon, August 29, 2016

Does Your Business Need a Hardware Refresh?

What is the importance about keeping your business infrastructure hardware refreshed? As a best business practice, ensuring that infrastructure hardware is current is pennies on the dollar when comparing the amount of time and money associated with downtime.

What Devices Do I Need to Refresh?

Arguably the most important devices to refresh regularly are your server, as well as PC’s. These are devices likely used day in and day out to run your business. If an unexpected hardware failure occurs and your device(s) is no longer supported or covered under warranty, what would that mean? On average, it is best business practice to refresh server hardware every 5-7 years.

Of course, this depends on various factors. The role of the server, the applications that run your business, level of growth of your data set, number of users, are just some of the factors to consider.  This article by Techtarget details some of the elements to consider when looking to refresh your server. Ask Centrality for a consultation to discuss your specific hardware refresh plan.

Ideally, PC’s should typically be replaced every 3-5 years.  Again, the lifecycle of the machine depends on its role. Generally if the machine’s OS (ie Windows XP) is no longer supported or the hardware itself  under warranty coverage, it may be time to replace.

What are my options?

There are many ways to approach a hardware refresh. If your server or PC is no longer eligible for warranty coverage, you may choose to replace that hardware or assign it to a lesser role. For example, one can replace the hardware for the primary server, and reassign the hardware to a terminal server role. With regards to PC’s, one strategy is to replace the machines of your “power users” first. Their old machines are then available to assign to other users. This keeps the hardware cycle in motion without replacing every machine and assist in managing budgeting.

Leveraging the cloud and moving to an IaaS model is certainly gaining momentum. This utility service model delivers continual hardware refresh, redundancy and scalability without the impactful  “capex” expenditures. Centrality’s Complete Cloud is a very mature and cost effective solution that accomplishes these initiatives. It essentially eliminates the need to buy another piece of hardware ever again. This utility model is a per user per month pricing schedule – where you only pay for what you use. The monthly pricing includes all hardware – including servers, thin clients, switches, routers, access points. Microsoft software, WAN and internet connectivity, 24/7 support, unlimited storage and disaster recovery also make up the complete cloud-based solution.