4 Things You Can Do to Give an Old Server New Life
by Stephanie Faris on Wednesday, February 21, 2018 11:30
With the average server lasting three to five years, every IT administrator will eventually have at least one expired piece of equipment. Tossing it is the easiest option, but it can actually cost a business serious money over time. By finding ways to repurpose every piece of equipment, your technology workers can save money and improve their own operations. Here are four options for offloading your old servers in a productive manner.
Turn It into a NAS
Network-attached storage (NAS) connects to your existing network, giving you extra storage space. Your old servers can still be useful for several years as a NAS, since they don't require the power of your main servers. You can also add a hard drive or two to give it extra oomph, purchase the necessary software, and you'll have an extra device you can use for storing files or databases.
Create a Testing Server
Every IT team needs to occasionally test new software or an operating system before deploying it. That old server can be useful in trying out a new feature before putting it to use. Since your server is a prime example of how an older system will handle the strain, you'll know that if it works there, it will work on newer equipment. Over time, as newer servers reach their end of life, you can gradually upgrade your test server with the slightly newer servers you're decommissioning.
Build a Mail Server
Chances are, email is one of the most space-intensive processes in your organization. A dedicated mail server can help reduce the strain on your other servers, freeing them up to handle file storage and internet traffic. You don't have to store Microsoft Exchange on the server unless you're committed to that solution. There are plenty of open-source email solutions that can handle the workload without breaking your company budget. A dedicated email server will also help you store any emails you need to save for legal e-discovery purposes. Alternatively, you can turn your old equipment into print or file servers.
Pass It On
If you don't have an internal use for your servers, a local nonprofit might. Be sure you're aware of the dangers of recycling or donating your equipment without removing the hard drive. Removing the hard drives of your servers is the only way to guarantee your data will remain safe, especially if you shred those drives. If you can't find a nonprofit willing to take an old server without a hard drive, sending it to a recycling center is likely the best option, since a security breach can cost your business thousands of dollars.
National Computer Warehouse Services provides a two-step hard drive removal service that includes degaussing and shredding each drive. We can also work with your organization to develop a plan for offloading your old servers and equipment, including utilizing our partnerships with local recycling facilities. Contact us today to learn how we can help you manage your old equipment.