Server Lifespan: How Long Does It Takes?
by Nathaniel Cooper, on Aug 13, 2019 9:30:00 AM
If you've seen any of our blogs you can probably tell I love my Jeep. Nothing in my mind is better than a Jeep Wrangler, I want to keep it forever! But unfortunately, I know that it won't last forever. I'll have to replace the tires again, probably swap the transmission out and whatever else comes up. Even if I fix all that it still won't last forever.
So what are those things that I need to do? How often will I need to do them? These same questions come up in conversations about servers. I've got this 24-Bay Server behind me. It's one of our common servers that we sell a lot of.
How long should this last?
This particular model is loaded up with SSDs, in general a good rule of thumb is start switching drives out around 4 years. You may be able to stretch it a bit further with SSDs but with spinning hard drives, 4 years is where you will start to see actual hardware failures. That's the first thing you want to swap out.
Servers tend to last anywhere from 5-8 years. Most people tend to start looking to swap their servers out around the 5 year mark but you don't have to, especially depending on your physical environment. For example, I had a client in Santa Monica that always kept their windows open because it's beautiful there near the beach. Keeping the window cracked allowed a lot of saline into the office which built up in the server and killed it after about three and a half years! Now that's a rare situation!
But if you're sticking a server in an environment that is clean, generally it will last 5-8 years. I would encourage looking at swapping out drives before than. Most people want to by then because about 4 years in, the drive you bought then seems like a thumb drive.
This is why it's so important that you work with a vendor that makes it simple for you to swap out drives and doesn't force you to play the "You can only use our drives that are 4X the cost" game because that will really bite you when it does become time to swap out drives.