Selecting the right hardware for a server refresh is critical to running smooth IT operations. Having the right hardware directly affects the health and success of the overall business. New hardware is never selected arbitrarily; it's a long process that maps the future technological needs of a business against new server vendor products. You must also weigh how the refresh will affect budgets, service and maintenance, facilities investments and even disposal or reallocation of the old equipment. Careful consideration of these details up front will help ensure the best server is selected.
This first segment focuses on server hardware issues. There is a wealth of information centered on new server form factors, particularly blade servers, which can concentrate a lot of computing into a relatively small area. Blade servers are an important form factor, but they also place serious demands on data center facilities. Server specifications and computing capabilities also profoundly affect which new server is chosen. With Intel and AMD battling to produce more powerful CPUs, having a perspective on their current offerings (and future directions) can boost your server buying confidence.
Sticking with a set server refresh cycle isn't always possible. Tough economic times often put a crimp in the capex budget or slow down new business projects. Funding issues might require stalling a server refresh and wringing more life from existing hardware. Disposing of displaced hardware can save, and businesses can often reallocate older servers to secondary tasks, such as backup, disaster recovery, testing and development or other creative uses that allow used equipment to render more value once its production lifecycle is finished.
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