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When to Replace Hardware – End of Life (EOL) 

By June 20, 2022June 21st, 2022No Comments

Upgrading old hardware is a key part of making sure your IT infrastructure works as well as it can. Hardware that is getting old can be hard to replace, especially if you don’t know when it’s time to do so. 

Every business owner needs to make sure that when they buy IT equipment, they get the most for their money. So, you need to plan ahead if you want to know when is the best time to replace your hardware. So, you can plan for it in your budget. So, use your EOL as a sign that it’s time to move up. 

Let’s look at what those major factors are and where you must also draw the line. 

What does “End of Life” mean, and why does it matter when I upgrade my hardware? 

Know the end-of-life (EOL) of your hardware as a first step. This is what EOL will help you figure out: 

  • when your support from the mainstream will end 
  • when support for firmware and updates will end 
  • when updates to security will stop 
  • when the warranty will end 

In short, any part of your hardware that isn’t getting updates or isn’t covered by a warranty needs to be replaced as soon as possible. 

Hackers are smart; they know when patches and updates will stop. When devices aren’t kept up to date, servers and workstations are usually the ones that get the most abuse or attacks. It’s important to keep all of your hardware infrastructure up to date, because that’s the only way to stay safe. 

How to Know When to Change Out Hardware: 

Figuring out how long your hardware will last is easy with a few guidelines to follow. 

Every five years, you should replace your servers, and about every three years, you should replace your workstations. In reality, warranties, updates, and patches are usually no longer available after 5 years. 

Servers and workstations move rapidly and fluidly, and you’re getting the most out of them in the beginning. Towards the EOL, usually after the first three years and sometimes if you are lucky five or six years, the quantity of work completed will decrease. 

As your hardware wears down, you’ll notice that things aren’t operating as well, such as needing to switch on and off your workstation all the time. Excessive usage of your equipment might place a strain on your network and create other issues.  

What It Means for Your IT Hardware Infrastructure to Plan for Business Growth 

Like I said before, make plans. 

I think it’s important to make sure that the hardware you buy gives you a good return on your money. But to do that, you need to know how your business plans to grow. 

What new apps will be put out there? 

Do you think storage space will get bigger?  

Who’s new? 

You know what to buy when you know what kind of growth to expect. 

One of the most important problems we face today is that companies don’t know where they’ll be in five years. And within two years, their servers are full because their plan for growth didn’t match the hardware they bought.  

On the other hand, you are MUCH less likely to outgrow your hardware if you plan ahead. 

Why Warranty on hardware and upgrading Go Hand-in-Hand 

It’s important to know how your hardware infrastructure’s warranty stands. If your current hardware has reached the end of its useful life or is being phased out, the company that made it will no longer support it. And yes, it might still work, but here are the real issues. 

Scenario: Your server no longer has a warranty, and it crashes for no apparent reason. After troubleshooting, your IT team figures out that the problem is with the motherboard. Since your server is no longer covered by a warranty, you have to work hard to find the right parts without help from the company that made it. This could take days, weeks, months, or even longer.  

Can your business run without your server for that long? Why even take that chance? 

Like I said above, you need to replace any of your hardware that isn’t getting updates or isn’t under warranty as soon as possible. 

Many companies use Cloud solutions these days so they don’t have to worry about their hardware getting old. When you move to the cloud, you won’t have to worry about things like on-premise servers and resources (like power, bandwidth, air conditioning, etc.), warranties, or upgrading old server hardware. Most businesses are excited about not having to pay for new server hardware upfront. But keep in mind that there will be monthly or yearly subscription costs. So, in terms of cost, things tend to stay about the same. 

Are you a good fit for the Cloud? 

It all depends on your infrastructure, your network, and what they depend on.  

Can we move resources to the cloud, or do you need resources on-site?  

When replacing old hardware and thinking about the Cloud, these are tough questions. 

To put it all together, the key to upgrading old hardware is to plan ahead and know where you’re going. Think about where you want your business to be in 5 years, and then work with your IT department or a managed IT services provider to plan. Weigh the pros and cons of both Cloud-based and on-premise solutions. And finally, make a plan for when new hardware or Cloud-based solutions will be put in place.