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How to Extend the Life of IT Infrastructure—and Make Your Existing Hardware Work for You

While it should go without saying, we’ll still say it—today, IT infrastructure is an essential component of any successful business. The ever-pressing problem, though? Budget cuts.

Ever-available funds often put a strain on organizations’ ability to keep up with ever-evolving technology solutions and performance demands. It’s the same story we hear time and again, regardless of industry or business size.

Meanwhile, IT vendors often suggest buying new hardware to reduce costs. But replacing existing infrastructure isn’t always necessary. In fact, most of the time, a few minor software upgrades are all that’s needed for an organization’s current set-up to keep up with performance and capacity demands.

In other words, it can pay off in droves when IT leaders focus on optimizing their existing technology and extending its life-span versus simply investing in newer models. To get started, these leaders must first look at the software that their hardware runs on.

Data centers need to keep their systems running at peak performance, and the three groups of infrastructure—computing, storage and networking—are essential for long-term success. These components can be purchased individually using a traditional 3-tier structure, or as bundles using a hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) solution. Either way, here are some strategies for extending each of their life-spans:

Extending the Life of Computing

As organizations grapple with the challenge of making their computing more efficient and cost-effective, virtualization is an attractive solution. However, it doesn’t come without a trade-off. That’s because hypervisor overhead can often negate the gains from running multiple applications at once—forcing businesses to buy far more power than they need.

Still, by understanding exactly how much extra capacity your particular application requires to function within such systems, you may be able to extend the life span of current tech investments while getting enhanced performance out of them as well.

IT leaders have an opportunity to reduce costs and extend the life of computing through a smart consolidation strategy. By consolidating their bare metal systems into virtual environments, organizations can benefit from improved performance while decreasing their overall data center power needs. This is not only cost-effective but also helps pave the way for long-term sustainability in today’s digital age.

Extending the Life of Storage

With storage and data availability at the heart of any IT infrastructure, it’s critical to get as much life out of storage solutions. This can be done using a tiered storage strategy.

Using this strategy, frequently accessed data is kept on faster storage, while data used less often is stored on slower, more budget-friendly storage solutions. This approach can help organizations optimize their storage infrastructure while also reducing costs.

Additionally, implementing deduplication and compression techniques can help organizations reduce their overall storage footprint. How? By removing duplicate files and compressing existing ones—thereby taking up less space. Essentially, by using these tactics wisely, organizations can maximize their return on investment when it comes to upgrades down the line.

Extending the Life of Networking

Finally, networking is an essential tool for keeping our devices connected and facilitating communication, but it can be costly to maintain. As such, to stay connected and better prepared for the future, organizations should consider upgrading to software-defined networking (SDN) technology.

With SDN, organizations can move beyond the limitations of rigid hardware configurations. That’s because this approach abstracts network functionality from hardware, allowing networks to remain agile and flexible with fewer physical components.

In short: SDN is a smart way of extending your business’s connection capacities in an efficient manner, resulting in major savings along the way.

No Need to Break the Bank Even when dealing with limited funds, IT leaders have more—if not better—cost-effective options than ever before. And in many cases, investment in new systems is not at all necessary.

Rather, by seizing on opportunities to extend the life of your IT infrastructure, you can empower your business to remain competitive in today’s digital transformation landscape—all without having to break the proverbial bank.