ComputerWorld - New technologies mean shorter server life cycles

(29-Jun-10) Alan Bourassa, CIO of EmpireCLS, a limousine service in Secaucus, N.J., is a man on a tight schedule. He has tied his company's 64 server blades to a three-year replacement cycle, a fast-paced strategy that he feels has become essential in this era of rapid technological change and unprecedented levels of business pressure.

"A lot of folks try to say they'll keep their blades for five, seven years, but it just doesn't happen because of the way the industry and technology is changing so fast," says Bourassa, who until recently managed a replacement cycle exceeding five years.

Bourassa, like other IT leaders, has compressed his server replacement cycle to the shortest practical length to obtain the flexibility necessary to stay on top of such important trends as virtualization, evolving server and software technologies, expanding storage demands and growing business mandates.

Darin Stahl, a server industry analyst at Info-Tech Research Group in London, Ontario, observes that server replacement cycles these days generally run toward three years, depending on the machine's role and its owner's needs. "It's a scheduled management of assets that lines up with depreciation but also with stability and the useful life of the boxes," he says.

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