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What is your server hardware refresh schedule?

Tech refresh is a continuously occurring task for sysadmins, but what's your corporate refresh schedule look like?
How often do you refresh your servers?
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How often do you refresh your servers?

77 votes tallied
Less than three years
4 votes
Three to five years
21 votes
Five to seven years
28 votes
More than seven years
8 votes
On a break/fix basis
8 votes
No set schedule-it depends entirely on capacity and performance
8 votes

"Tech refresh" as we call it is a big deal. It's such a big deal that company leadership details their refresh plans from three to five years into the future, or further. And some optimistic projectionists might attempt to extend that crystal ball's (aka spreadsheet's) capability even further. I've seen tech refresh projections as far as ten years into the future and compensation for growth, attrition, and business changes. I think three years, on a rolling basis, is a good start and a good goal for most of us. 

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The reason three years rings true for businesses is that lease contracts are typically three years for equipment. I think most enterprises try to refresh every three years, more or less, to meet the terms of those lease contracts, although, for some systems, I've seen that three years stretch to four and five. For those of us on the implementation, decommissioning, and disposal side, our job is never done. Tech refresh for us is continuous mode because systems "age out" on a monthly basis. Sure, there are those times when you have dozens of servers coming up for refresh but it's usually more of a constant trickle rather than a flood. Thank goodness for that.

The question for this poll is, "How often do you refresh your servers?". While for some of you five might be the uppermost limit,  I've seen servers sitting around in racks that were more than ten years old, so there might not be such a thing as an uppermost limit at all. Your feedback in the poll will give us all a better idea of what fellow sysadmins are dealing with.

Topics:   Linux   Linux administration   Hardware  
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Ken Hess

Ken has used Red Hat Linux since 1996 and has written ebooks, whitepapers, actual books, thousands of exam review questions, and hundreds of articles on open source and other topics. Ken also has 20+ years of experience as an enterprise sysadmin with Unix, Linux, Windows, and Virtualization. More about me

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