IT Untangled: How Much Does a Server Upgrade Cost?
It’s time. You have out grown your server like an old pair of shoes. Or, perhaps your server has reached its end life, and you need to move on. No matter the scenario, getting a new server can be a MASSIVE undertaking.
Unlike comparing online, upgrading a server isn’t a quick Yelp review away from the perfect product. A new server has many moving parts. Make sure your managed IT service provider and software vendors are part of the planning process.
Steps to Pricing Your Server Upgrade
1. Scoping your Environment
Before you can break down cost, you need to review the current server environment. Have your IT service provider break down the use, type of applications, and data that is currently on your server.
Next, figure out the approximate growth for the next 5 years. If you expect any major business changes in the next 5 years, now’s the time to plan for them. Five years is roughly the life cycle of a server, so plan for replacement before its 6th birthday.
While planning for the next 5 years, your IT department should use industry experience and measured data to estimate future needs, and look ahead at new technology. Consider what that new tech can do for your business, and if you need it.
2. Cloud Consideration
The “as-a-service” model is growing and the Cloud could be a good option. Deciding between an in-house server or Cloud services is a big choice, and the upfront cost can vary significantly.
When considering this choice, think about your market and the size of your business. Be careful not to choose a Cloud option that’s not designed for a business of your scale. Compliance and the Cloud can be a huge issue. Does this vendor adhere to your industry’s standards? What about large files, can the Cloud handle the download/upload speeds necessary to support your business? Ask your IT provider about onsite and offsite storage solutions. Will the Cloud options protect you in all scenarios?
How important are things like scalability to you? Would monthly subscriptions be easier than paying up front? Your budget and your company’s overall ability to adapt are huge components of successfully transition to the Cloud. Take it slow if you aren't currently using it and consider a hybrid method to start.
The hardest thing to pinpoint is cost. It’s like asking “How much does a new car cost?” There are so many variables. It’s impossible to give an estimate without more information on your specific situation. The hardware alone for server upgrades can range from $1,000 to $40,000. And that doesn’t even include software licensing or installation.
The biggest factors that determine the price of a new server are: storage capacity, processing speed, software licensing, and the type of hardware needed.
Installation labor costs, for example, vary widely depending on what is being upgraded. If you’re replacing the server hardware of a virtual host but not changing the guests, the labor is on the lower end. If you’re upgrading the hardware and all the virtual server operating systems, then labor will be much higher because it’s a more complex project, etc.
There’s a technology path for every budget.
Work with your IT provider to figure out your options based on your needs. Consider options from the “perfect world” to “bare-bones” scenarios. Be wary if you’re presented with only one option. There should always be alternatives.
If the options suggested are outside the realm of possibility, you may have to get creative. Together with your vendors and IT department's input, you should be able to pick a happy medium.
To future-proof your upgrade, whether it’s a physical server, a Cloud service, or a hybrid solution – remember your current needs, plus approximate yearly increases for up to 5 years. Don't be shortsighted with "money saving" options, only to max out your server prematurely. Work with your IT department and vendors to find the right solution(s) for you.
Want to talk numbers for your situation? Let's chat through the options. Give us a call at (800) 481-4369.
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IT Untangled aims to provide clarity on IT topics for business people. This weekly blog series will explain and discuss the complex world of IT, in words you understand.
About Accent Computer Solutions
Accent Computer Solutions, Inc. is a managed IT services and IT support provider, serving businesses with 30-500 employees throughout Southern California. The company is headquartered in Rancho Cucamonga, California, with IT professionals strategically located throughout San Bernardino, Riverside, Los Angeles, and Orange Counties, as well as Arizona, Texas, and Louisiana.