Just curious as to how everyone manages the life cycle of ICT assets, particularly servers. Do you replace as soon as warranty expires or do you wait until they become unreliable and/or the manufacturer cannot supply fast turn around replacement parts? Noting that most business level servers these days have redundant everything. I don't suggest keeping them for ever but a year or two past warranty expiration or until they become unreliable would surely make good financial sence in a tight budget school environment.
Another consideration is we are running a virtual server environment so moving them around is easy, and a new physical server can be purchased and in location within 12-24hours and virtual machines moved back over.
And all our data is on 2x Dell Equallogic data arrays, so really they are the key to data availability, the physical servers are only the interface for that data onto the end user. And with virtuals that interface is very flexible.
Thanks for your thoughts
Personally I would just purchase an extended warranty if it is possible. Most Servers from the likes of HP/Dell will easily last 5/6 years as long as they are still fit for purpose (as in they still are able to perform the job).
Although I have one client that has a 3 host cluster and is happy to loose one for 24/48 hours as there is sufficient capacity on the other two hosts to be able to run everything (runs VMware with HA).
Have to get warranty extension at POS otherwise they charge a silly amount.
Originally Posted by glennda
That can be true - all depends on the hardware. Also if you have customised it (i.e added loads more ram) they might not also be covered. But if you have fault tolerance in your VM environment the affects of a single host dying can be mitigated.
Originally Posted by twin--turbo
Regardless of whether or not I but any warranty, I run a five year refresh cycle. I budget £2.5k per year for servers or switches. Last year I got a monster server (24 core, 96Gb) next year I'm replacing some core switching.
We have a 6yr renewal policy for servers, 5yr for desktop and upto 7yrs for thin clients.
As soon as the 'core' servers reach that date they get replaced - but usually get recycled into something less mission critical.
I think that so far about 5-6 years is the concensus on server life.
The IT director at work seems to think if he doesnt spend the budgeted money he is going to loose it next year so he buys replacment servers etc even if they are not required. Yet the school is screaming poor and the replacement machine is not going to provide any end user experience improvement. He has the other management staff scared that if they are out of warranty the world is going to cave in around us.
Heads up - He is a ICT teacher with an IT degree (or whatever univerisities give out - without any real world experience outside of the education system) who is also the IT director. Guess which department gets all the good gear????
For example he just spent $6k on a new video server because the warranty expired. Even though the current system has had absolutly zero issues and is running like a dream. We could have used that money to upgrade some backbone fibre with bottle neck issues to 10Gb and provide a end user noticable improvement. But nooooo the perfectly working server is out of warrantly and HAS to be replaced. We have about 4 very functional servers sitting around doing nothing because they ran out of warrantly and were replaced.
Anyhow. Having a good engine but a crap broken chassis makes for a crap car. Just like having great servers but a crap network infrastructure.