We all take things for granted. When we turn on the light switch, we expect there to be light. When we get into our car and turn the key, we expect it to start. Sometimes the light doesn’t shine or the car doesn’t roar into life. Most of the time these can be easily fixed, replace a fuse, or put fuel in your car. Sometimes, some things go wrong that can affect you and your business.
When working with Computers we all expect that when we go into the office, put the kettle on, sit down at our desk and start to work, our Computers will function as they have done the previous days. Occasionally you may be faced with a different scenario. What if your computer fails to start, or you cannot connect to the shared folder on the Server which has failed. These are just two examples of when things go wrong, but by maintaining your infrastructure you can help negate system failures.
The first area to look at, would be the age of hardware in your business. There are some Companies out there that are relying on Servers and Computers which are 10 or more years old. These are ticking time bombs on your network ready to fail at any moment. Servers and Computers have moving parts inside them, for example hard disk drives.
Hard disks have magnetic disks which spin at various speeds. The average spin speed is 7200rpm (revolutions per minute). To allow the disks to spin there are bearings inside the disk. The disks could potentially spin 10,368,000 per day, over a year that is 3,784,320,000, over 10 years that is 37,843,200,000. That is enough spinning to make anyone dizzy, and a bearing to fail. It is generally regarding that hard disk drives have an average life span of three to five years, after which you may start to experience problems. With the right monitoring, failing hard disk drives can be spotted, and replaced. The question comes, when is it time to look at replacing the physical Server or Computer.
Again, it is advisable to look at replacing your physical hardware every 5 to 6 years. Generally new Operating Systems which run on Servers and Computers are released in that timeframe. So, replacing your Servers and Computers when new operating systems become available is generally advised, however to protect the integrity of your Company’s data replacing Server hardware should be the top of your list.
You should already be aware that Windows XP goes end of life this year, 8th April to be exact. This means that Microsoft will no longer be releasing security patches for Windows XP. Once this happens, the operating system will become a massive security risk on your network allowing hackers to easily target and compromise the systems.
Although it is a year off, Windows Server 2003 goes end of life in July 2015. The year that has lead up to Windows XP going end of life has gone quickly, so right now is the time to look at replacing those aging Servers, hardware and software. If you are still running Windows Server 2003, you have missed out on Windows Server 2008 which added some great new features. The latest release of the Server operating system in Windows Server 2012.
It’s not just the Servers or Computers that fail there are other devices on your network which have a finite life. For example, the UPS which is providing power redundancy for your Servers, or the network switches which connect your Computers to the Servers, or the printer at the end of the desk will eventually fail. The older the devices are, the more likely they are to fail.
Obviously all devices have Warranties, and with Servers and Computers you can extend the Warranty for a couple of years. There will however, come a point where the hardware to fix a failed device is no longer available. Also, you should have a good reliable backup solution in place, just in case the inevitable happens.
If you have Servers, Computers or any other aging device on your network then call Amshire Solutions Ltd and we’ll be happy to discuss and assist in migrating you to the latest Server hardware and operating systems.