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Anytime you have any mid to high level reliance on your server, you should replace it every 5 years. There are some cases where you can go longer, but only if you aren’t reliant on your server. If it fails, you just replace it with no effect on your business. If you have a similar server where you depend on it for your business, and if you don’t get a new one for a week, what will be the cost to you ?
So why 5 years? If you look at statistics on hardware failures, all of the moving parts (hard drives and fans) and the power supply have the highest probability of failure. The hard drives are the biggest concern. They have a rating on them for mean time between failures (MTBF). It is a rating of the number of hours the hard drive is expected to last. As time goes on, and you exceed the MTBF, you are just playing with probability. At some point you’ll lose. Figure out the cost of being without your database or email server for 2 or 3 days and compare it to the cost of a new server. It is likely that the cost for the new server is cheaper. Why take a chance.
Unfortunately advertised prices for Servers do not include necessary hardware and software configurations required for most servers. Below is a list of some basic things to consider when purchasing a server:
Having more RAM for a server is of the essence. Skimping here will cause frustration as all the people in your office use the server for retrieving or storing information simultaneously.
RAID (redundant array of independent disks; originally redundant array of inexpensive disks) is a way of storing the same data in different places (thus, redundantly) on multiple hard disks. By placing data on multiple disks, operations can overlap in a balanced way, improving performance. How critical is the data that you are storing on your server? Do you want to ensure that it will not be lost?
Backup is the activity of copying files or databases so that they will be preserved in case of equipment failure or other catastrophe. Backup is usually a routine part of the operation of large businesses with mainframes as well as the administrators of smaller business computers. For personal computer users, backup is also necessary but often neglected. The retrieval of files you backed up is called restoring them. How are you backing up your data in the event of a hardware failure?
Please note: Most servers do not come with an operating system or other necessary software components.