Make The Most Of Your Legacy Hardware
If you've got gear older than the intern, we understand — we've seen it (and supported it). There could be many reasons for keeping older equipment, but the most common reason usually involves applications that are only compatible with older devices. You might be surprised how many companies face the same issue. The logistical headache of transitioning to a new application could involve several expensive steps, including having a new application built and installed, archiving the old data, and training personnel on the new system. Combine all that with budget concerns, and you might end up with a situation where you've got servers and storage devices that have seen the back end of more than a few decades. (I'm looking at you, IBM & Oracle.)
The good news — at M Global, we're all about helping our clients find solutions to their hardware dilemmas. So we've put together some tips on getting the most out of your older gear — minimize failures, optimize performance, and keep your devices happy until it's time for the big transition.
What You Can Do to Keep Your Old Systems Going Strong
Stuff breaks. There's no getting around that, but you can reduce the risk of failures turning into disasters with some proactive steps.
Source An Exact Match System
Depending on the age and complexity of your system, sourcing an exact match may not be possible or cost-effective. Short of hopping in your handy DeLorean with a functioning flux capacitor, you might not find a similar system, but if you can, it's a great way to reduce downtime and stress. Switching over to the backup system right away allows you to get things back up and running without the time crunch of troubleshooting and fixing the other system. If the broken system is repairable, it'll be waiting in the wings if it happens again.
Master Your Spare Part Strategy
Sourcing an exact match might be a pipe dream, but that's no reason to not have a solid parts stocking strategy in place. Beyond the usual commonly failed parts like fans, power supplies, and hard drives, it's a good idea to consider keeping parts on hand that are challenging to source. Sometimes, especially with older systems, parts can be harder to find and/or have longer delivery times. At M Global, we can help you develop a spare parts strategy customized to your system, budget, and needs. We always have our ears to the ground for our clients with systems with harder-to-source parts.
Be Diligent About Preventative Maintenance
A little TLC can go a long way with IT equipment. The basics of keeping the unit clean, dust-free, and sans spider webs is the first must-do on the list. Monitoring your system for failures and taking care of anything that crops up right away can prevent more significant issues down the road.
While keeping the dust bunnies at bay, it'll also give you a chance to check cabling and connections and keep an eye on any alerts or failures that might have slipped under your radar.
Get Hardware Support Coverage
You might not have known that you could get a hardware support contract on that 30-year-old server — but now you know! We've supported some downright ancient systems, keeping them running smoothly. You don't have to wait until you have an issue to give us a call.
Make Your Equipment Feel At Home In This Century
We all know how sensitive and temperamental IT equipment can be. Keep on their good side by making them feel at home and valued. No need to risk offending them, or the next time you plead with them to behave and work right, they will show you how they really feel. What better way than a trip down memory lane?
Maybe, just maybe, your ancient server is acting up because it feels lost in the new millennium and just needs a moment of appreciative nostalgia to get back in the right groove (unlikely — but I'm sure you'll look awesome in a hot pink leotard or early 2000s saggy jeans, so it's worth a shot).
Connect to a Dial Up Modem Occasionally
Your system may miss the melodious sounds of a dial-up connection. If you need more speed than a dial-up connection can give you (who doesn't??), you could find a sound machine app that will play that beautiful and not-at-all aggravating sound on a loop. The nostalgia will help them remember the good ol' days when they were considered the height of technological advancement.
Improve Performance with Upgrades
You've got spare parts stocked and ready for action, a support contract with a certain amazing TPM provider, and you are on top of your preventative maintenance game. You even cycle your 90s teal windbreaker into your rotation at least once a month to keep everybody happy. Now what? You might be able to optimize your system further with some upgrades.
Upgrade Memory - A straightforward upgrade that will make a big difference. Because it's a common improvement, you'll want to check that your system isn't already maxed out.
Upgrade CPUs - Faster CPU = faster performance. Who doesn't want that? Upgrading CPUs may prove a little tricky since sometimes systems have a limit to what is compatible, and your only options may be what was the latest and greatest before it went end of life.
Upgrade Hard Drives - Some hard drives spin faster than others allowing for quicker data retrieval. You'll probably have more choices with hard drives than CPUs, but you still could be limited by the system's specifications. The before & after of these upgrades could look something like this:
Before upgrades: The system is sluggish, and you are stuck waiting for programs and files to open or respond.
After upgrades: The system is much more responsive, and programs are functioning without issue.
Totally worth it. If you need help checking to see if your system can be upgraded, we'd love to help!
Written by Angie Stephens with contributions from M Global team members including SMEs, management executives, and more.
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M Global is in the business of providing solutions. We want you to consider us an extension of your team, a trusted resource and advisor. Call us today at 855-304-4600 to find out more.