Suggested lifespan for servers before retiring?


I'm curious to find out from others working in a corporate environment, what the typical refresh period is for your servers? Meaning, how old are your servers allowed to get according, to corporate policy, before they need to be replaced?

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The hard, fast rule for most large organizations are 3 years since that is usually the longest warranty you can get on a server.  In smaller organizations, they may not have this luxury due to budget restraints.  In reality a server's lifespan can be as long as it works, since servers do a variety of functions which require a minimal amount of specs to run an application, etc... or to run an new version of exchange server you are going to want something with a lot of horsepower.

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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I completely agree - 3 years - in part because the 4th year of a warranty can cost half the price of the server... so why bother.  Buy them, upon warranty expiration sell them and replace them with new ones.  In some cases, you can keep a few for a test network (though that's less important thanks to Virtualization Technology).  OR, half them - meaning if you have 2 identical systems (or more, then retire one or two and keep them as spare parts - that's one of the biggest concerns with any server - ensuring you have replacement components in the event of failure.
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