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The End-of-Life Server Challenge

There is always a never ending flow of critical activities and deadlines that fall onto the shoulders of IT staff. Whether these activities are installing new hardware and applications or critical systems maintenance, there never seems to be adequate time to complete everything.

Add to this the burden of working within tight budgets plus managing end user and departmental IT requirements, the inevitable result is almost all organisations have critical applications that are running on end-of-life (EoL) servers or end of life operating systems.

We have seen time and again, critical applications such as accounting, email or CRM solutions running old Operating Systems (OS) that are running on old hardware.

The combination of critical business applications running on old hardware and old, non-supported operating systems often leads to or, even forces, the classic IT decision …Do nothing …
However, by leveraging cloud service providers, you now have plenty of options.

Given the age of the applications, OS and the servers they are running on, chances are these services are likely running quite smoothly. If nothing in the environment changes, the fact that the OS and Applications are no longer supported by their vendors is inconvenient but not the highest risk to business continuity. It is the EoL physical servers that represent the biggest risks. Supposing there was a hard drive failure, or worse still, a server failure. What would you need to do to get these critical applications back up and running? This would be a huge amount of work, which would result in trying to build old replacement servers and re-loading applications onto an old, non-supported OS.

By leveraging the capabilities of cloud, you could, very simply transition the OS and the applications onto a fully redundant cloud infrastructure. This would deliver redundant servers, redundant hard drives, full backups and all of the other mission critical benefits of being in a Tier III data center. All without the significant capital expense and resource time to recreate the environment.

Creating a snapshot of your full EoL infrastructure into a redundant, managed cloud, removes your End of Life hardware issue immediately. In return, you receive fault tolerant, elastic computing, hosted professionally on your behalf.

This, to me, appears simply logical. Do you agree?

Paul Butcher

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