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Legacy vs. Self-Sufficient Servers

From the experts | Posted on May 29, 2012 by Ben Abbey

In the past, server admins looked at servers as a “box” that contained CPU, memory, storage, and network connectivity. Troubleshooting was tough and startup times were slow. These aging servers weren’t necessarily part of a cohesive data center system, nor were their electricity numbers consumption efficient. New self-sufficient servers are so much more than these older servers. There are tremendous benefits of new server technologies over traditional server design.

Problems With Legacy Servers

Unfortunately, most data centers today are a patchwork of components that you have to manually configure. Your SAN, network, and servers may come from different vendors and each have their own management software. You and your admins struggle to maintain a multitude of complex pieces. Among them:

  • Power hungry & inefficient
  • Inflexible
  • Slow to boot
  • Difficult to troubleshoot – both for you and the manufacturer
  • Designed for  applications that are now aging

Worse yet, the data center data and compute requirements continue to grow. Something has to change.

What To Look For In Your Next Server Infrastructure

Whenever manufacturers release new server product lines, they always promise the world. However, there are innovative new features that can really make a difference in your life as an admin, and in the efficiency of your datacenter.

Here are the features that you should look for in the servers that you’ll be using to build your next data center infrastructure:

  • Part of a Whole – by selecting servers that are part of a complete datacenter solution, you’ll gain benefits like faster troubleshooting, simplified support, and increased efficiency. No longer should you look at servers, storage, and network as three disparate units. Instead, use a holistic approach in selecting your data center infrastructure.
  • Energy Saving – the latest servers not only use less power but are able to intelligently vary power consumption to maximize both server performance and power utilization.
  • Increased Uptime – whether thanks to greater availability features or proactive support, the technology offered by today’s newest servers will result in greater uptime for critical company applications.
  • Performance Boost – thanks to new server insight into the workloads running on it, servers can utilize cache and new solid-state drive (SSD) capacity to dramatically boost performance over traditional servers.

These are the types of changes that must take place in your server infrastructure of the future to keep up with the changing pace of business.

What’s your next step?

I would start by reviewing the day to day activities related to your current server infrastructure as follows:

  • When there is a problem with a server, how easy is it to fix?
  • How easy are your servers to manage and update (not the OS and apps)?
  • How well do they scale when put under load?
  • What would be the financial impact if you could significantly reduce power consumption?

Today’s latest server technologies offer tremendous benefits over traditional server design. To learn more about Softchoice solutions that can help, visit our post on our Softchoice Advisor blog called 7 Reasons Gen8 Servers Actually Make a Difference.

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