The four major factors in cascade-down IT replacement programs

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Posted on Thursday, June 9, 2016

Here at CDS we strongly advocate the redeployment of post warranty hardware to raise the overall standard of our clients’ computing environments, and although this is the perfect resolution to the problem of reduced performance in legacy hardware for most businesses, there are still a few issues you need to consider.

Our upcoming Data Center Reality Check webinar will look at a number of the issues surrounding cascade down IT upgrades, but here are the top four you need to consider now.

1. Risk of Data Loss

The primary concern of every IT professional is how best to avoid data loss. From supporting end users to deploying all new storage arrays everything needs to be done with a view to protecting your information assets.

The same applies to redeploying older hardware – is there any risk of data loss when retiring your ageing tape library and replacing it with an always-on hard disk? Are there any known risk factors with you current system as it ages? If there are known risks to redeploying older hardware, you need to consider the potential impact of each.

2. Application and Service Availability

Of almost equal importance is the need to ensure that applications and services are available around the clock. With most IT teams bound by a 5 nines (99.999%) availability target, the importance of downtime cannot be underestimated.

Will the use of older hardware raise the risk of downtime? How much downtime will be incurred by the cascade-down upgrade process? Do these downtime considerations fall within acceptable parameters? If not, redeploying older hardware may be the wrong choice in this specific case.

3. What are the costs associated with Redeploying Older Hardware?

To assume that redeploying older hardware attracts no cost is naïve – any business that suggests this is the case is over-simplifying the process.

Although there is no capital investment cost, there will still be costs associated with the manpower required to reconfigure and redeploy equipment in its new role. On the plus side, these costs can be offset against the lower maintenance and support costs on offer by a third party provider.

4. Are there any Compliance Issues to consider?

Ensuring that internal and external compliancy obligations continue to be met will also play a large part in determining whether hardware redeployment is acceptable in a specific situation. Does older hardware meet any encryption or performance requirements for instance? And is it suitably secured against cybercriminals to protect your business?

Again, any instance where older hardware fails to meet these guidelines, your business cannot conscionably redeploy it. However, there are bound to be plenty of other scenarios where your soon-to-be-retired systems are more than adequate and where they meet the expected compliancy standards.

To learn more about the cascade down approach to IT hardware upgrades, and how your business can realise even more value from its existing investments, make sure you book your place on the free Data Center Reality Check webinar – we hope to see you there!

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