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If you maintain a server for your business, your server provides the capacity and power that runs many aspects of your day-to-day operations. It’s vital to have a server upgrade plan. Server troubles can quickly derail your business and its ability to function. That’s why it’s so important to keep your server in top shape and have a server upgrade plan – or explore lower-cost cloud options, which we’ll briefly touch on in this article. Servers run constantly and get a lot of wear and tear. The older the server, the more at-risk for failure it is.

Why Upgrade Your Server

Upgrading your server will help you avoid unexpected downtime and technical issues, but also will enhance the overall growth of your business. Here’s how it impacts your bottom line:

  • Speed: Employees appreciate an IT infrastructure that gives them speed for high performance. Since all your apps and services run on your server, its speed directly impacts your employees’ ability to do their jobs efficiently.
  • Reliability: Your customers expect your company to be accountable and reliable. Technology is essential to delivering on this promise. Keeping your IT infrastructure upgraded ensures that products and services can be managed and delivered efficiently.

  • Warranty. With a server upgrade comes a warranty, meaning your investment will be protected and you won’t have to invest more money on your server once it is purchased and installed correctly while under warranty.

Server Upgrade Plan

Here is a basic roadmap for a server upgrade project.

  • Map out short- and long-term goals and requirements:
    • Determine business requirements
    • Identify utilization and growth in servers, network and storage
    • Identify software (custom or commercial off-the-shelf)
    • Group infrastructure by key attributes (age, function, etc.)

  • Determine the technology you need:
    • Fully understand your organization’s hardware and networking platform and how the server upgrade fits into the overall IT infrastructure.
    • Determine site requirements for hosting hardware
    • Assign applications and development environments to hardware
    • Define network architecture requirements
    • Calculate storage requirements
    • Evaluate which applications should be upgrade
    • Define hardware components to retain, upgrade and acquire
    • Assess staff training requirements

  • Find solutions to meet your needs:
    • Compare business requirements to vendor offerings
    • Identify application interoperability issues across the solution stack
    • Determine where applications will be hosted (virtual, physical or cloud)
    • Diagram infrastructure architecture
    • Determine costs and cost trends
    • As you narrow down options for your upgrade, check the server’s warranty status (can it be extended?)
    • Ensure that vendor support available during the upgrade should you need it

  • Upon completing the above, determine if an upgrade is even the best option.
    • It may be more cost-effective to purchase a new server

  • Implement Your Server Upgrade
    • For most upgrades, you will need 24 to 72 hours of scheduled downtime
    • Configure new hardware
    • Install the new operating system and applications
    • Test functionality with a test group of users
    • Establish backup and disaster recovery functionality
    • Conduct user acceptance testing
    • Train staff
    • Release to users
    • Plan for a new upgrade cycle

Is a Physical Server the Best Option for Your Business?

Depending on a business’ needs, maintaining an internal physical server may be necessary. However, almost always, this option is more costly from a hardware and maintenance standpoint. Most small- to mid-sized businesses now opt for the cloud for hosting, securing and maintaining their business applications and data. Also, as more businesses downsize office space, foregoing a physical server can save on space and help reduce operational costs.  

To learn more about how MyTek, an Arizona managed IT services company, can provide a FREE review of your IT environment and help you to determine if a server of cloud solution best meets your needs, please contact us. If you are in need of a server upgrade, we can work with you on an IT project basis to complete your server upgrade effectively and efficiently.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Tim Tiller, LMSW

 
Tim Tiller, MSW brings a deep service background to his role at Mytek, having graduated from McDonald’s management training program, fresh out of high school, and working his way up through the ranks in the hospitality industry. He has led two prior companies – Multi-Systems Inc., an IT-focused organization providing technology to hospitality companies (where he was named President at age 36), and most recently, as Chief Operating Officer for Jewish Voice Ministries International.

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