Refurbishing servers: 5 great reasons why you need to consider it
If you work in IT solutions as a provider for managed services, cloud services, or internet services you are going to need servers that meet your needs in terms of both price and performance. So how can you keep your costs down and find the solutions that your clients and customers are looking for?
When it’s time to replace your servers, buying refurbished is the obvious solution. Hard on the heels of that thought though is a common fear of zombies -- getting stuck with zombie servers to be more specific. These comatose entities will suck not only your wallet but also your operating budget dry while providing zero value.
So why would you want to buy used servers that have been decommissioned by other data centers and server rooms? How can it make sense for them to do similar work for you?
Expertly refurbished servers can offer great solutions
Here is why -- IT departments often update their servers based solely due on the dictates of their service agreements with the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). A data center typically uses a server for only about two or three years, but the productive life of most servers nowadays can actually be much longer, at five to 10 years or more.
It’s a kind of "fill and flush" philosophy. Google, however, has gone with another model -- the circular economy model -- in which at any one time about a fifth of their servers are "remanufactured," in other words, repaired.
The key to success for your enterprise grade IT hardware is to pick a reliable company that has expertise in refurbishment. Like picking a surgeon with years of practice for your life-saving operation, when you select your IT hardware reseller, go with a company that has a long history of resetting to "like new" used servers from data centers and server rooms.
Their bread and butter should be refurbishing servers so that they are systematically and carefully tested, then warrantied. It’s their job to take out any zombies so you don’t have to.
But it’s about more than dodging the undead -- it’s about finding solutions for your unique IT enterprise needs. So be sure to pick a company that can select the right servers to meet your workloads so that you can take advantage of the many benefits of refurbished IT hardware.
So what are those powerful reasons that make going with refurb so good?
There have go to be at least five powerful reasons why refurbished is the way to go, whether your job is to provide web hosting, internet services, cloud backup, IOT, data recovery, big data services, web security protection, telephony, or more.
1. Reduced costs = a greater ROI = greater scalability
You should be able to buy refurbished hardware for only a fraction of its original cost.
The non-name brand "white box suppliers" such as Supermicro, Chenbro, Quanta, or Foxconn are more affordable than better known name brands such as Dell, but provide the same quality.
There is also a lot of leeway in cost savings by using refurbished CPUs and RAM. Compared to DDR4 EEC, DDR3 EEC RAM is a lot more affordable.
The datacenter market for CPUs is still dominated by Intel Xeons, so you can take advantage of the older E5 Series. They are available for just a fraction of the price of the latest Xeons, such as the Intel Xeon Processor E7-8894 v4.
When you are buying in quantity for your datacenter, whether for all your servers or only a portion of them, those savings seriously add up. Going refurbished is going to make your IT budget go a lot further, and with more money left to spend, you have more options for scalability.
Expertly refurbished servers can perform as well as new ones, and sometimes even better. Pre-owned servers need the right configuration of drives, memory and processors in place for optimal performance, as do new servers. That said, when carefully selected for the job at hand, refurbished servers are often able to match the performance of new servers, and even out-perform them. You can expect Xeon E5-2670s, for example, do a great job in terms of storage, virtual machine hosting, 3D rendering, or domain rendering.
3. Matching your technical needs
Your server supplier should guide you to the IT hardware that supports the right virtualization platforms for the services you provide.
Not only do they save you money, but white box servers leave more room for customization. They have parts that are typically assembled separately, and with this it is easier to replace parts should they go wrong without replacing the whole server. It is also easier to get customized servers that will meet your unique workplace needs and workloads.
Reliability is always important, but mission critical if you are a Tier III or IV facility. If and when refurbished parts go wrong, these are most often your power supplies, fans, and storage devices, so be ready for that. You can have confidence, however, in your refurbished servers when they come with an extended warranty and have been carefully tested to be fully functional.
The best warranties will state that any pre-owned component of your server has been tested individually, and also that the entire server has then been tested. Look for at minimum a 30-day return guarantee and a 60-day replacement of configured servers or internal components. Any new parts should have a one-year warranty through the manufacturers.
5. Great customer services and fast shipping
As we have seen, only go with refurbished server providers who have the expertise on hand to make sure you are really getting exactly what you need.
Sometimes fast shipping is what you’ll need, so check out their delivery times and shipping prices.
So, if you partner with an experienced refurbishment provider you’ll be able to benefit in terms of price and performance.
And don’t forget those extra Planet Earth points for keeping another server out of an early grave!
Mike Biglen, IT manager, Natex.
Published under license from ITProPortal.com, a Future plc Publication. All rights reserved.