server repairWhen you buy a car, you have a number in your head of the miles you expect to get out of it before the parts start to fail. You use that number to weigh the price of the vehicle. When investing in server equipment, you may be tempted to try a similar tact, replacing miles with years. However, there is a flaw in that line of thinking. Here’s how to best determine your server lifespan.

First, the flawed logic. Cars, no matter how well you maintain them, will eventually wear out. It is the nature of moving parts. Your CPUs, memory, and motherboards aren’t operating on moving parts that wear down with use. As long as you keep these parts properly cooled, perform routing maintenance, and prevent electrical surges, these parts will last indefinitely. There is one part that moves however, your hard drive. These generally last about six years. But, these are relatively inexpensive and easy to replace. 

How Long Will Your Server Last?

“Most people will tell you that servers will last about five years and should then be replaced. That’s the rule of thumb that has developed in the industry. As noted above, however, that’s not the right way to think about server lifespan.

A server that receives routine maintenance, and whose hard disks are replaced as needed, could continue to run for decades – although it will likely not remain cost-effective for decades.

However, when considering cost, you need to take into account how long your server will efficiently keep up with your workload and changing demands, like a growth in your workforce. Older systems are also inherently less energy efficient, and can increase utility costs. They may take more physical space to house than newer models (and then you also have the cloud, which can take up no space at all), which means square footage and thus higher rent. Legacy systems also take manpower to troubleshoot and maintain, as well as replacement parts which may be less and less available as the systems ages.

So, rather than assuming that there is a universal answer for how long a server can last, you should tailor the answer to your situation. Calculate your maintenance and operating costs for your current servers and determine the point at which those costs become significantly greater than the cost of running more modern hardware. Replacing your servers every five years just because that’s what other people do is not necessarily the most cost-effective way to manage hardware.
It’s also not exactly environmentally friendly – if that’s important to you.” (

We Can Make Your Server Last.

At Great Lakes Computer Corporation, we know that IT hardware is a major, and critical, investment. While many operations are shifting to the cloud, there are plenty of businesses that need to stretch their legacy investment as far as possible. Great Lakes Computer repairs all types of storage devices including tape drives, tape libraries, optical and disk based storage systems from manufactures such as IBM, HP / Compaq, Quantum and others, whether they are under warranty or not. We offer maintenance programs to fit your budget. Our service is unmatched, and our response times are fast. We can make sure you get the most out of your tech investement.