When the End is Near, Consider the Cloud
Nothing lasts forever, including servers. The dilemma for IT professionals is what to do with them as they near the end of their lifespan. Options include:
- Replacing parts to extend a server’s usability or fix performance issues
- A total hardware refresh and disposing of or recycling the old server
- Moving to a colocation facility or the cloud
Each option offers advantages and disadvantages but for many organizations, the benefits of moving to the cloud overwhelmingly make it a smart choice.
The cloud replaces the capital outlay of an in-house data center with a predictable operational cost because you own no equipment. This can generate significant cost savings, especially as your business expands and contracts. For example, instead of purchasing physical servers to support seasonal web traffic surges, you would simply contract with your cloud service provider (CSP) to add capacity when as needed. The resources could then be scaled back when the resources aren’t needed.
In addition, you can take advantage of your CSP’s full-time, high-volume expertise in equipment purchase, maintenance, software configuration and upgrades. There is also savings that comes from keeping your internal IT team focused on strategic company initiatives instead of maintaining hardware. CSPs can also offer service level agreements (SLAs) for uptime and problem response time. Some can even develop a disaster recovery (DR) solution for you with SLAs that would be difficult to match in-house.
The Colocation First Option
Of course, you may not be ready to give up control of your hardware, or may still need to maximize your investment in your current hardware. If that’s the case, colocation can be a good intermediary step before moving to the cloud. Colocation allows you to maintain ownership of your assets, but you don’t have to invest in the resources to keep them in-house. You get access to highly efficient, technologically advanced data center resources at a fraction of the cost of building the systems yourself.
Then when you’re ready to start moving to the cloud, the resources available through your colocation facility — particularly if it also supports cloud services — can help ease the transition. Those resources include operator and interconnect networks, which make it easier and more cost efficient to quickly move data over large geographical areas and between internal and external assets. These private interconnects and specialized network systems get data to corporate WAN and LAN systems, adding a layer of security in how information is delivered.
Choose the right service provider, and you may also be able to tap into the expertise and experience of its professional services team for assistance in the actual workload migration to the cloud.
If your servers are nearing the end of their lifespan, it’s a good time to look at your options — including moving to the cloud. US Signal will be happy to provide you with information on advantages and disadvantages of the various options, and help you determine what makes the most sense for your organization. Contact us here to get started.
You can also learn more on the subject by watching our webinar. Rodney Buckingham of Phoenix Computing Strategies discusses his company’s success in moving its customers to a cloud environment during the hardware refresh cycle. You can watch the video here.