IT Budgets Stretch Server Lifespans

Tight IT budgets are pushing three-year refresh cycles to five or more years in many cases, with the focus on eking more productivity and efficiency out of what is already there.


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Posted April 30, 2010

Drew Robb

Drew Robb

We're seeing many comments about a "New Normal." Earlier this year, IDC posted a paper about how this new normal is shaping IT practices. Other analysts have taken up the call –- it's almost like the phrase has become a handy catch-phrase.

"Changes resulting from the recent economic turbulence are resulting in substantial changes to business and technology management models that will echo for several years, creating a new normal for IT budges, capital availability and technology adoption models," said Joseph Pucciarelli, an analyst with IDC.

In a nutshell, the theory goes that there was an "old normal," and then the economy tanked. Out of the turmoil is emerging a "new normal." It will consist of such things as lengthier deployed life, big projects being curtailed, required payback periods of one year for IT investments, and minimal upgrade and maintenance spending.

Specific to the server landscape, lower IT budgets mean that traditional three-year server refresh cycles may have to be extended to five or more years in many cases. Instead of buying new gear, the focus in the data center will be to eke more productivity and efficiency out of what is already there -– virtualization will obviously play a big role in this. Expect, too, a rebound in the use of second-hand servers as well as leasing being favorable once again, as companies seek to offset heavy upfront costs. While leasing hasn't been seen that much since the turn of the decade, it may come out well when subjected to an in-depth analysis of total lifecycle costs compared to owning and maintaining everything in-house.

Read the rest at ServerWatch.

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