Considering an IT infrastructure upgrade? 

The Challenges

Are you under using your servers? Are you unable to leverage on the latest technology offerings?

Despite advances in Cloud Storage and Cloud Services, most SME’s would prefer to host in house applications and data content on- premise.

Most SME’s are unable to leverage on the latest Infrastructure offerings, choosing instead to purchase Entry Level Server Hardware; which offers limited scalability options in terms of service longevity and hardware ROI. Smart SME owners may consider the option of procuring Mid-Tier Servers to meet application productivity needs. Such Servers offer better durability and Hot Swap features which gives greater System Availability. Scalability remains elusive as these mid-tier servers are usually Purpose-Built; to act as a Windows Domain Controller/ Application Server or as an Application/ Database Server.

The Solution

System Integrators are realizing the opportunities in leveraging on Virtualized Systems with their on premise Hardware Server Solution offerings. An increasing number of the System Integrators are now packaging on premise Virtualized Servers to host new applications as a stop-gap measure for SME’s with pressing needs to upgrade their application versions and/ or host content on Newer Servers.

We at Computergate can deliver on premise Virtualized Solutions for SME’s. With advances in Physical-To-Virtualized (P2V) mechanisms,  SME’s can utilize our expertise in optimizing existing, qualified Mid-Tier Servers by re-purposing these servers into Virtual Host Machines.

Call us to discuss more about how we can help you out.

Assess your technology first with Computergate

Is it time for an IT infrastructure upgrade in your business? This question presents a contentious issue for small and midsize businesses (SMBs), especially when it involves purchasing costly servers, storage appliances, and core networking equipment.

After all, the average organisation may not have the resources to afford swapping out defunct tech for brand-new hardware every few years; yet, the need for up-to-date, fully functioning hardware is essential to running and maintaining business operations, which makes the topic of an infrastructure upgrade inevitable.

To better understand if it’s time to initiate an IT infrastructure upgrade for your servers, storage, or network, first identify the components you can upgrade within these areas.

Upgrading the server

When it comes to the server, you have two options: upgrade current legacy servers or purchase new, modern servers. If your budget is limited, upgrading legacy servers is your best option. For instance, one of the most popular upgrades entails bolstering the memory capacity of an existing server, which tends to be cost-effective and results in better performance on heavily loaded servers. You need spare random-access memory (RAM) slots for this upgrade, or you can replace lower capacity RAM chips with higher capacity options.

In specialised scenarios where your server relies heavily on the graphics processing unit (GPU), you may want to upgrade the graphics cards. Alternatively, you can extend the life span of an aging server by repurposing it or giving it a less demanding role than normal, such as setting a database server to host internal customer relationship management (CRM).

While it’s possible to buy microprocessors packaged with slower chips that you can swap out for better performing chips of your choice, it’s often more economical to pay more from the beginning than hedge for a processor upgrade a few years down the road, due to the rapid pace of technological development. You can also choose to upgrade the motherboard in tandem, though you’ll likely introduce additional complexities on the hardware compatibility front.

However, if your budget permits it, you may want to consider purchasing brand-new servers. Modern servers provide better performance and reliability and usually cost less to support than upgrading your existing servers. Even if you upgrade your old servers, they’ll eventually need replacement, so sometimes, investing in a new server now is your best bet to keep the business running at optimal levels in the long run.

Assessing the storage

Compared to servers, upgrading storage can be relatively straightforward if you merely want to add additional capacity or higher performing drives into an existing storage area network (SAN) or network-attached storage (NAS). However, if your storage infrastructure is already at its limits and not upgradable or if the interface technologies it uses aren’t easily available, then it might be time to evaluate an entirely new solution.

Because older hardware usually supports aging interfaces that prove significantly more expensive to acquire due to the market forces of supply and demand, look for the newest stable industry standard technology available to stretch your dollar for all its worth. Make sure to check for any guarantees a vendor offers regarding how long they’ll carry replacement parts before you commit to any solution.

Storage devices with built-in 10 gigabits per second (Gbps) network interfaces are increasingly common, so selecting a new storage solution introduces the potential of having to upgrade older network infrastructure to support the new speed. Network interface controller (NIC) upgrades to servers aren’t too difficult, but costs can mount up quickly if you upgrade multiple servers and the core network.

Evaluating the network

Finally, whether a network upgrade is necessary depends on individual organisations and their unique computing and network requirements. Whenever possible, IT staff should ensure they’re not using and relying on outdated networking hardware, because a network with limited bandwidth slows down even the fastest servers and storage solutions.

Today, networking switches should offer Gigabit Ethernet (GbE), and you should consider 10 Gbps speeds for the network backbone for the best match with today’s servers and storage devices. Local-area network (LAN) cabling for workstations or Wi-Fi access points should also have GbE speeds for optimal performance.

Ultimately, a proper evaluation and decision about whether to go ahead with an IT infrastructure upgrade requires strong commitment and an in-depth, honest assessment of your existing hardware. Plan for the future, instead of the here and now, and equip your business with the necessary hardware power and capabilities to drive business growth and increase productivity.

Contact Computergate Today to Learn More