Are your network speeds no longer keeping up with your day-to-day business operations? To prevent your business from being held back, it’s probably time to consider either upgrading your existing infrastructure or replacing your network altogether. While this proposition may seem overwhelming at first, when you partner with an experienced managed service provider (MSP) you’ll be amazed by the minimal downtime and ultimate transformation. An MSP can work with you to determine whether your network could benefit from a new network cable installation with fiber optic cables, upgrading networked hardware, or utilizing the resources of a data center. Here are three critical factors to consider when deciding whether it’s time to upgrade or replace your network infrastructure.


  1. Breakdown is inevitable. If you choose to wait on upgrading or replacing your network infrastructure, your business is only biding the time before critical failure. Neglecting recommended lifetimes ends up costing your business in the long run when you have to deal with network downtime, lost productivity, delayed projects, and potentially data loss. That’s why we recommend replacing computers every two to three years and replacing servers every three to five years.
  2. Upgrades boost productivity. Making sure your team has the latest hardware saves you money by maximizing productivity and protecting against failure. Whether you decide to replace or upgrade, you’re giving your business room to grow. Upgrades provide a quick growth solution at a lower up-front cost, but a server replacement delivers a long-term infrastructure that prepares your business for the future.
  3. Virtualize your servers. If you haven’t upgraded your servers recently, they’re likely only running about 30 percent as efficiently as they could be. When you work with an MSP, they will help you virtualize your servers. With virtualization, you can partition a single physical server to operate as multiple virtual servers. The result is a faster network, quicker application response times, and more redundant resources.


When to Upgrade


You should consider upgrading your existing servers if you have goals like:


  1. Maximizing Performance. If your server performance simply isn’t keeping up with your changing business needs, but your servers are still under warranty, your business can step performance up by upgrading your server to solid state drives (SSDs).
  2. Increasing Storage. As with performance, you can typically increase storage on your existing servers with a straightforward upgrade. You can quickly add additional channels on your controller card(s). You can also consider replacing your current hard drives with larger drives.


When to Replace


It’s time to replace your server if:


  1. Your warranty has expired. If your warranty has expired, it can be difficult to obtain replacement parts. This makes replacing and upgrading various parts inefficient. At this point, we recommend you replace the outdated server altogether.
  2. You’ve had your server for three or more years. The risk of critical failure doesn’t make it worth saving a little extra money in the short term. As mentioned above, we recommend replacing servers every three to five years. Failure rates quickly rise after three years of operation, and failure becomes inevitable.
  3. Server instability. Hopefully, you don’t need to be told this one, but we’ll mention it anyway. If your server starts acting erratically, you’re lucky it hasn’t failed yet. Replace it before it’s too late.


If you’re interested in learning more about how Willow Bend System can help with a [network installation or upgrade], contact us today.