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Upgrade old servers to new servers

kenny chia
Regular Advisor

Upgrade old servers to new servers

Hi!
I have a few K, D class and a few workstations under my charge. Thinking of upgrade them as they are starting to fail regularly. Most of them are 6 years old. There are no performance issues

Question
Under what situation will you upgrade a server? No more spare hardware?

Thanks for any comments
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7 REPLIES
Rajeev Shukla
Honored Contributor

Re: Upgrade old servers to new servers

Hi,
In these scenarios i will consider for an upgrade.
1. Harware limitation, means the hardware doesn't allow any further software upgrades like OS, applications etc..
2. If performance is going down, business effected and the current server doesn't allow any expandability.
3.lastly if Company has money, go in line with technology, by new Hardware and Setup a SAN.
I recomend if you consolidate all you'r unix servers and windows servers and think of having just few disk arrays, storage library easy to manage and look at the ROI of SAN you will be amazed.
So do more study, get all informations, give a presentation to Boss and persue them for it. That way you secure you'r place as well i guess.

Cheers
Rajeev
Michael Steele_2
Honored Contributor

Re: Upgrade old servers to new servers

I think those were all good suggestions. I would add only this advice:

When a car manufacturer introduces a new model a lot of consumers wait a year or two for the bugs to get ironed out. Seems like everyone's Dad passes on this suggestion. I think it applies with HP and Itanium. HP's been PA-RISC for years and this jump into Itanium going to be a little rocky.

Oh yeah, and Intel regains some proprietary rights after two years. Or HP loses them and other generic versions of Itanium can be sold without HP's license.

(* Something like that. *)
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Steven E. Protter
Exalted Contributor

Re: Upgrade old servers to new servers

I recommend the following path:

You get the new server, install the latest OS, then migrate all your applications.

There will be issues with some of the applications with an OS upgrade.

All the new hardware is 64 bit only on the OS and you'll have to carefully go through your applicaations and make sure they are certified on the OS.

We upgrade our servers every three of four years for the following reasons:

The hardware service contract on new hardware is very inexpensive during the first three years of ownership.

The hardware service contract on older, out of warranty hardware escalates pretty badly. Also, the older the box, parts start to be dropped from support.

In our case applications tend to get bigger and hungrier for resources. We seem to have performance issues toward the end of the life cycle, at least we did with our D Class boxes.

We keep the old hardware around somtimes as a sandbox to test certain configurations and upgrades.

I think your reason is pretty good though, when it starts to break down, time to think about replacing it.

I like the car analogy there. Though HP claims to be moving toward Itanium, PA-RISC is tried and true.

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Mark Grant
Honored Contributor

Re: Upgrade old servers to new servers

A well known truism of investment if you want to make real money is "Don't follow the trend". I think this applies to your IT environment too. Investigate each option yourself, don't rely on marketing speak from the sales guys and only upgrade anything if you can show it increases the bottom line of the profits of your business. There can be no other reason to upgrade.
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Jakes Louw
Trusted Contributor

Re: Upgrade old servers to new servers

One other comment: if you investigate things like clustering, capacity on demand, partitioning, and reduced license costs, you could probably consolidate all your apps onto fewer and smaller footprint, as well as gain additional HA benefits, and probably not spend any more than you were on operating expenses.
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Elmar P. Kolkman
Honored Contributor

Re: Upgrade old servers to new servers

One thing to make it easier to gain support from the management are support contracts!
Old servers (especially the K-class systems) are very costly to have a support contract on, where most A-class (or rp24xx) are very capable of running the same application faster and cheaper on support... Meaning you will earn back investment in new hardware quite fast. Especially if you put in old servers in the bargain with your supplier.
Every problem has at least one solution. Only some solutions are harder to find.
Rita C Workman
Honored Contributor

Re: Upgrade old servers to new servers

Under what circumstances do we upgrade...

We do not wait for circumstances...we plan for and budget for regular hardware upgrades.

To allow systems to go too long, support costs increase, performance decreases and more is lost in downtime. My personal limit for priority systems is 5 years.

Regards,
Rita