What business requirements are you addressing with your data center hardware refresh?

Doug Theis
Published

Data Center Hardware Refresh

What business requirements are you addressing with your data center hardware refresh?

What are you aiming for when you update data center hardware? I routinely talk to IT leaders about their current projects; one of the most common I hear about is a data center hardware refresh. And, as our conversation evolves, a few key business drivers for the refresh usually emerge:

Growth

Business success and data growth drives the need for new or additional compute and storage resources. SANs and servers run out of space, and it’s often difficult to accurately guess capacity needs three years down the road.

Risk

Spinning disks fail over time, servers fill up with dust and other contaminants, and networking equipment reaches end-of-life or end-of-support. New security threats often target aging operating systems and network code. And the cost of protecting data center hardware in years 4 and 5 of their lifecycle can be prohibitive.

Application requirements

Software and operating system updates are notoriously unforgiving with aging hardware. Line-of-business applications can be the most restrictive on supported hardware and OS levels. Software vendors may hold a gun to your head by telling you they won’t support their code on old processor or an operating system version.

Performance

Applications continue to change; many become more resource-hungry with each new version. Digital transformation means more real-time applications where performance is much more critical to success. The old hardware makes the application too slow to use in real-time. No matter what the business driver, however, there are multiple factors to consider when planning the total cost of your “hardware refresh”, including people, process and technology.

People

Hardware refreshes usually include three staff-centric projects: the selection process, the implementation and the ongoing maintenance. Are you clear on the time and skills cost of the selection and implementation process? And are you including it in the overall costs of the project?

Budget, implementation and support processes

Your company may love capital expenditures or they may love operating expense. You may have budget money allocated or you may need to go to the well each time. If you consider the four business drivers above, is a hardware refresh the best fit to match business requirements, staff levels and overall cost?

Technology

With dozens of server, storage, and networking technologies to choose from, how will you pick the best solution? How much time will it take? How will you know if you choose wisely? These sub-drivers are the reason so many companies are choosing public and private cloud infrastructures from local and national providers that they trust. They can address people and process challenges by substituting new hardware with cloud technologies. In doing so, your company can conserve capital expense (CAPEX) in favor of operating expense (OPEX) Want to know how? Download our Shift CAPEX to OPEX whitepaper and contact me so we can chat about your unique environment.

Doug Theis is the Director of Market Strategy in Expedient’s Indianapolis market focused on engaging with and improving the regional IT community through planning, sponsoring and attending community events, facilitating IT-focused continuing education opportunities, and sharing strategies, tactics, and research to help IT professionals stay abreast of best practices and industry trends. Connect with Doug at doug.theis@expedient.com and follow him on Twitter.

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