When should I replace my server?Many people find it difficult to decide when to replace their servers. Servers can be expensive, and when adding the cost of installation, some organizations feel that it is too much.

In today’s economy in particular, businesses face some tough choices when it comes to the issue of server upgrades. If you wait more than 3 years, you may miss out on innovations that boost productivity such as new technologies. You will also risk increased upkeep costs if service and support agreements lapse. On the other hand, if you replace the server any sooner, you may not realize the full return of investments on your current server. That means many factors come into play when it comes to the replacement of servers, some of these factors include:

The Age Of Your Server

Experts advise that a server should be replaced after every 3 years. Though some IT managers will say servers can last longer, IDC says that after the 3rd year of ownership, the technology will be “obsolete” and support costs will also escalate. Starting in the 4th year, support costs will increase by about 40 percent. And by the 5th year, the increase may go up to 200 percent. Holding onto your server for seven years will see these costs rise to 400 percent! Simply put, the longer you hold onto to your current server the more you will spend on support costs and this will eat into your profit. Coincidentally, many server warranties expire after 3 years, and extending this warranty is very expensive, and replacement parts may also not be easy to find even after extending the warranty beyond 3 years.

The server may be running just fine. But remember it will be vulnerable to crashing and this can bring your company or organization to its knees. Replacing a running server is better that replacing one that has crashed because you will be able to transfer your data without losing it.

It is hard to justify replacing equipment that is working, but for servers this definitely does not apply. If you wait until it crashes, you will have significant downtime while you are running around trying to replace it or get it fixed. And during this time, your business will be unable to operate and you will lose customers to your competitors.

Consider how much you could lose in revenue compared to the cost of installing a new server that can pay for itself. Also remember that it’s more cost effective to spend time planning a server replacement when it is still working, rather than trying to put everything together during an emergency.

Slow Performance

When it comes to speed, it all depends on what use the server is put to. A server that is considered to be slow in one organization, may be just fine in another organization. However, it should be noted that a slow server may make you lose customers and hence revenue. Time savings of 10 or 20 minutes may not sound like much, but if you consider this over a long period of time and across multiple departments, you might be surprised at how these small time savings can boost performance.

A server may appear to be running reliably, but this doesn’t mean it is running optimally. It’s upon the IT specialist to determine if a replacement is needed. Some people say they don’t plan to replace their server until they can be sure the new server will be 2 or 3 times as fast as their current model. While that might be possible, it is very rare. Faster hard drives and CPUs like the Intel Xeon have considerably increased server performance over the past few years.


Sometimes you may need a server replacement not because the current one is old or slow, but because you need more than it can give. That is a good reason to replace your current server or go for an additional server. Don’t be afraid to be optimistic; where do you see your business in 5 – 10 years? Just getting the bare minimum to meet your present needs may cost you in the long run. Invest in your server to ensure there’s room for expansion in your organization.