September 2011

Maximizing IT Equipment

Maximizing IT equipment can save your business cash

By: Stephen Jaynes, xByte Technologies

In these tough economic times, everyone is trying to stretch IT budgets or extend the life of existing servers. Buying new equipment can be costly to purchase and to implement into your environment. Following these suggestions could save you money and time.

Replacing a server is not always the solution to poor performance or limited hard drive space. Upgrades to processors, memory or hard drives can easily be added to an existing server allowing it to handle your current needs. Companies have saved thousands of dollars by analyzing how they use specific servers and making upgrades to optimize performance. By understanding the way each server is being used, you can identify performance bottlenecks and then determine the necessary upgrades. The cost of these upgrades is a fraction of the cost compared to a new server.

Upgrading existing equipment is the lowest cost option, but even putting in the fastest processor may not help reach the performance levels you need. Your next option is to look at how you are using each server. If any machine is used for multiple applications, you might be able to separate the application and maximize each server. We often find companies have the same physical machine carry out multiple applications such as a database/application server or a web/mail server. One of the applications dominates the machine forcing the other application to underperform. You may be able to upgrade the components and then separate the functionality between multiple “virtual” servers.

If you must buy an additional machine, look at lower cost refurbished equipment. Splitting functionality between multiple real or virtual servers helps to dedicate all resources necessary to each function.

When buying refurbished equipment, you can get the same high quality and warranty at a lower cost. The quickest way to determine if your vendor sells quality parts is to ask them if their parts are original manufacturer parts. Like Dell, each manufacturer tests their components and certifies them to be enterprise ready and includes firmware to optimize their performance for that manufacturer. If the parts did not originally come from the manufacturer, they may not perform at the same levels or in some cases may not be 100 percent compatible.

Because refurbished equipment has been used and tested more than new equipment, failure rates can actually be lower. If something does fail, then you need a vendor with a strong warranty and history of delivering on their warranty. Like a new server purchase, a refurbished server can come with one to three years of warranty. Make sure your refurbished vendor stocks replacement parts, so if something goes wrong you are not waiting on them to find the part you need.

For those of you that must have new equipment, your older servers can still help you stretch your budget.

By selling your equipment, you not only recover some of your expense but you also help reduce landfills and give someone else an opportunity to save money buying your used equipment.

Stephen Jaynes, vice president of sales at xByte Technologies, can be reached at or (941)358-9770.