We’re all familiar with the rapid change of technology and nowhere is it more evident than in your MIS shop. Server performance is advancing quarterly and storage capacities and capabilities are doing likewise. This is great news until you realize that within 12 months, your entire storage array may be obsolete.
It is important to consider your real alternatives:
Often, people feel like they justified an investment for three years, or they feel like the equipment will last three to five years so they live with the limitations and disadvantages of their equipment until they have gotten their “money’s worth.” This may be a good strategy with an automobile which changes little from year to year, but not with the fate of your servers and storage which everyone in your organization depend on to make a living and more importantly, maintain a competitive advantage. If your storage continues to meet your needs, this is the best alternative.
Often, this is the path of least resistance and is the best – especially if it was thought out ahead of time by building in expansion capacity. For example, you purchase a FlashDisk RAID array with six drives and put it in an enclosure with 11 drive bays leaving room for five more drives when capacity is needed. If all drives bays are full, normally you may need to replace the entire system. Fortunately, by the time this happens, there are often higher capacity disk drives available that can replace the old ones without discarding the entire array. The old drives still have value! They can be traded back to a vendor like Winchester Systems and rebuilt into a used RAID array and sold at a discount to someone else who is operating on a tight budget. The key point is that you get to upgrade and get the remaining value from your existing equipment without the hassle of trying to sell it on your own and without living with it longer than you need to. You can find out how much your existing drives are worth by contacting your account manager at Winchester Systems who can give you a firm quote.
You can replace the entire RAID array, however, this alternative is often avoided, many times for the wrong reason. People do not want to admit a “mistake” when actually the need to replace the unit is based upon success and growth.
There are two ways to replace a system to maximize the value of the old system. First, you can often redeploy the current RAID system to another less critical or less demanding application and get a new one for your key needs. Second, if no other application can use it, you can trade in the system for a current model at Winchester Systems who can offer you the highest value for your existing hardware — even if you bought it elsewhere. Much like the upgrade situation, this relieves you of the dilemma of what to do with a useful and working yet inadequate system while minimizing the incremental outlay needed to replace it.
Perhaps the best overall approach is to anticipate your future needs over 12, 24 and 36 months to determine how often you expect to need to upgrade. With this proper planning, you are prepared and not surprised when advances occur. Instead of being hostage to obsolete equipment, you can use technological progress to your advantage to keep your organization productive and competitive. You can budget annual outlays that match your requirements. In fact, you can even lease each system from Winchester Systems, selecting a term and monthly payment to meet your needs, while planning to trade each one in periodically. You can even arrange things so that your monthly outlay is comparable from year to year. This puts you completely in control of your fate. You know you can stay current as often as your needs and technology change and still stay in control of monthly expenses. You’ll be a management genius, users will love you!