Eliminate old or unsupported hardware
Older hardware comes with quite a few downsides you might not have considered.
First, it’s a compelling target for cybercriminals, since it may be unable to run newer, more modern and secure software.
Second, replacement parts for older components may have long shipping times or may be unavailable altogether. This downtime means lost productivity and revenue for your business. Not to mention that old, slow computers take longer to process common tasks, leading to idle time while users wait for systems to boot, login and process applications.
Lastly, outdated hardware can also be unreliable, risking glitches or complete failure and loss of critical data. In 2016, a five-hour system outage at a Delta Airlines data center cost the company over $150 million after a power supply system failed and caught fire, potentially due to age and wear.
Really, it’s not a question of whether hard drives, CPUs and other components will fail, but a question of when. And when is usually the worst possible time. Instead of replacing equipment on a comfortable schedule dictated by your business, your IT team could be left scrambling to find a spare part or recover data in the middle of the night or while clients are calling.
• Regularly audit your infrastructure: Keep a proper inventory system with warranty expiration dates and end-of-life information. If a component is nearing the end of the manufacturer’s support life cycle, plan and budget ahead to implement a modern replacement. Equipment failure events should not determine your budget or schedule.
• Consider high-availability options for mission-critical systems: If your organization’s success hinges on a single component or components, make sure you have a backup system ready to take over when needed. Some infrastructure components can be installed in high-availability pairs to share the load in case of an outage.
• Keep warranties active and current: Keep warranties active and current on all mission-critical infrastructure components such as firewalls, routers and switches. An extended warranty with next-day (or sooner) support will help get your business back up and running more quickly in the event of a component failure, and vendors routinely keep replacement parts available for warranty-covered equipment.