Sometimes companies will keep the same server for years before replacing it. They really come to rely on these older servers to support their IT infrastructure. Unfortunately, some of these old servers are being phased out and replaced by newer versions.
It’s just the way life is. The old wears out and gets replaced. But it can be a big job. You must move all your data and programs to the new server and there can be conflicts that will arise. It’s easy to forget all the different applications and services that are hosted on a server.
Of course, it all depends on the function of the server. Some businesses use multiple servers dedicated to one task, such as email. Smaller businesses typically use just one server that provides a combination of functions.
Four years is usually the lifetime of an average server. After that, failure can be a big concern. You should replace your server before it fails, so you don’t lose any of your digital files. It’s much easier to make the transition while the server is still functioning well.
Ask your IT service company to set up a Server Lifecycle Management Plan. This involves creating an inventory of your servers, when they were put into use and what solutions and services are housed on them. Once you do this you can:
By knowing the useful life of a server, you can reduce maintenance costs, increase flexibility when upgrading, and maximize the value of your servers. Plus you won’t face emergencies when servers fail unexpectedly.
There are so many on the market today. It can be confusing trying to decide what type your business needs. You can spend a lot of money to get all the bells and whistles but the basic server may still function just as well.
The different types of servers that small businesses use today include:
These are virtual machines that run on a larger enterprise-grade server provided by a Cloud Service Provider or your IT service company. Each of these large enterprise-grade servers can support many cloud servers.
The advantage of using a cloud server is that it can be deployed immediately and managed via a web-based dashboard. It’s a scalable and flexible approach to server management because you can add as many as you need quickly, or reduce the space used if your business scales back. You essentially lease the space on the cloud server, so there’s no hardware to worry about.
This is a physical server that’s similar to a computer workstation but uses hardware that’s more powerful than desktops. A dedicated server can have a multitude of processors and hundreds of gigabytes of memory. These are very powerful and can support high-traffic websites and massive databases like the kind that eCommerce stores use.
Of course, you can choose a less powerful server to support your business applications, website, database hosting and other functions. And, many companies lease rather than purchase dedicated servers.
Dedicated servers are a good option when performance is really important. They are also a good choice for small businesses that want to ensure they are the only company accessing the server hardware (for example healthcare practices, financial service organizations or law firms that must comply with government or industry regulatory standards).
Hybrid servers are a combination of a physical dedicated server and a virtual server. These are very powerful virtual servers that provide the same resources as a smaller dedicated server. They operate on the same principle as a cloud server except in the way you pay for the services.
A hybrid server sits between a cloud server and dedicated server. It’s like having the power of a dedicated server with the flexibility of a cloud server. You’ll benefit from its virtualization technology and the performance you’d get from a dedicated server. Just like a dedicated and cloud server, a hybrid server offers a complete environment that can support any server application.
You don’t have to choose between the three. You can select a mix of them for your unique requirements. Some small businesses use a dedicated server to house their applications and cloud servers to take advantage of their flexibility, fast deployment and scalability.
As you can see, selecting a server for your business today is more complicated than it was in years past. You can benefit by working with an IT specialist who can help you make the decision that’s best for your organization. They can also assist with the lifecycle management of your dedicated servers and other hardware. Having a great managed IT services provider in Chicago to help out with your IT infrastructure can save time, money and stress.