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Is My Old Server Hurting My Business?

From a cost/performance ratio, most servers meet their asking price after 4 years in use.

In business, we often look at devices that reach this threshold as having earned their keep.

No longer is the company paying for it; the hardware is off that side of the ledger. 

Unfortunately, for servers, this is not the case. 


As we’re all aware, technology is moving at unprecedented speeds. Current tech-related devices typically have a lifespan of about 3 to 5 years.

What about that 4-year-old server? Well, according to the lifespan, you either have another year or more to squeeze out of it or you best be looking for a replacement now. 

With next year’s IT budget taking shape, it’s best to address your old server.

More than any part of your IoT infrastructure, that server may wind up taking a more nefarious role: slowly killing your business by bleeding you dry. 

Here are 5 ways your old server can harm your future

Your Performance Speeds Slow to a Crawl 

By 2020, industry experts are predicting a 4,300% increase in annual data production.

To keep up with data, the sales of big data and analysis tools, services, and applications are predicted to grow more than 50% by 2019.

Your old server simply can’t keep up. 

Processing speed is now just as important as storage capacity. Real-time analytics provides business leaders with relevant information on a dashboard almost instantaneously.

Your old server—particularly a server consisting of disk drives—is already pushing its processing speed limits.

While you may still have the capacity, you’ll be losing the ability to quickly retrieve, cache, and analyze data. As we say in business, time is money, which leads us to our second point. 

Those Support Costs Will Continue to Escalate 

Even with a scalable server solution, you’re going to have to continue adding components.

You will continue spending more money to cover the crux of the original issue: an old server being crushed by processing and capacity demands. 

Maintenance costs will continue to increase, as that old server is going to need more and more attention.

As every boat owner will tell you, “boat” stands for “bust out another thousand.”

Get ready to fit all those “boat” demands into your annual budget as you try to keep your old server afloat in the tidal wave of big data. 

Support costs will additionally be felt in work hours.

Some member of your IT team will need to play babysitter to your old server.

This will not only eat up unproductive hours, but also take time away from important tasks, such as finding new solutions to grow the business. 

Danger, Will Robinson! Security Threats Detected! 

While malware attacks continue to rise, 2016 is turning out to be the year of ransomware targeting companies of all sizes, from SMBs to enterprise businesses.

And these threats are growing more and more complex. Security services are constantly on the defensive, as the rate of malware and ransomware proliferation exceeds the countermeasures.

With an old server, you are furthering the likelihood of a breach. 

The older your server is, the more out of date it becomes to these new methods of cyberattacks.

Patches also become outdated fast, so your old server must be constantly monitored for breaches. Once again, other resources are eaten up for this sole focus on security. 

Regardless of what you do, security measures will eventually become obsolete.

Think of it as similar to when an operating system is retired.

The maintenance and upgrades have reached the point to where they cost more than a replacement. This holds true to your server. It will quickly reach a state where it can effectively be deemed unfit to operate.

If you don’t have a replacement plan, your business will only suffer as you scramble for a fast solution. 

What If the Hard Drive Fails? 

Server failures are catastrophicAll things eventually break down, and tech leads the pack in low shelf-life longevity.

When it comes to your old server, it’s not just the downtime that will affect your business. 

The older your server is, the more you’re at risk of a breakdown.

Technology quickly deteriorates, and eventually, servers start functioning inefficiently. As the server gets bogged down, the greater the likelihood of a failure. There’s also the threat of a disaster. 

Unfortunately, too many companies don’t have an effective disaster recovery program.

Worse yet, the only time disaster recovery is usually tested is during an actual disaster.

Without the proper measures or backup systems in place, a hard drive failure can instantly wipe out all of your saved data, crippling your business servers for days, if not much longer. 

Wave Goodbye to Your Competitive Edge 

All of the above risks that your old server portends lead up to the biggest business killer of all: losing your competitive edge.

Your competition is constantly trying to either overtake you or extend their lead. All internal operations costs and downtime won’t add up to what’s at stake if you fall significantly behind your competition. 

Beyond the maintenance tasks, your server must also be able to handle the increasing demands of real-time analytics.

As mentioned with processing speeds, business leaders depend on real-time analytics being immediately available on their business dashboards.

A drag on real-time information due to your old, slow server can greatly affect response time to the market. Each step back can quickly snowball, and before you know it, the gap can grow significantly. 

We’ve seen it happen repeatedly in the business world. Facebook crushing MySpace. Under Armour surpassing Adidas.

It would be a shame to lose footing against your competitors due to the simple solution of replacing your old server.

Best to start making your contingency plans now.

Stop trying to make ends meet with your outdated technology  Learn how to persuade your CFO to help fund the right IT projects for the  future

Written by IBM BP Network