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IT Asset Lifecycle best practice

What is the best industry standard for replacing/upgrading

Domain Servers?
Workstations?

Most warranties are 3 years, so is that typically when most business's cycle their equipment.
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bankwest
Asked:
bankwest
2 Solutions
 
PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
It depends on a lot of things.  Dell, for one, has up to 5 years on their hardware, so if the tech demands of the network/users is fairly basic and doesn't change much over time, then 5 years is probably fine.  Cost also plays a role - the cost of downtime, more/less frequent upgrades, and/or out-of-warranty repair vs. new hardware.  There is usually an increasingly higher rate of failure after 3 years, which is why I think it is a "standard" warranty term, and hence, a "standard" turnover milestone for businesses.  I've also done some work for an engineering firm whose tech demands and storage space increase yearly, making 3 years almost too long between hardware upgrades.
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Trenton KnewCommented:
This can vary widely based on the nature of your business and the systems involved.  My company is in wholesale for example, and we'll buy new systems in batches, but push the older ones down to the warehouse for example.  We tend to keep the out of warranty ones on hand as backups for those that fail.  Our determination to retire then is based on licensing, so any machines with win 7 licenses are still viable.  your executives, on the other hand, may want new computers every couple of years, and it's usually a good idea to keep them happy, but it can also demonstrate concern for the company's bottom line if you are maintaining those systems too, so they don't get "slow"

Warranties are often based on average/median expected fail time, but well maintained machines can last much longer.  There is likely no "best practice" with regard to replacing workstations, as this can be a HIGHLY arbitrary, depending on your CFO, CIO, etc.  Your starting place will be to look at your I.T. budget, and make a smart call based on that.

As far as servers go.  I would probably push to always keep at least one that is less than five years old, but use the older ones so long as the is is still in support.  Plan ahead for soon to be out of support operating systems,   upgrading to a new version of Windows Server may require the purchase of new CALs, which I would avoid until absolutely necessary.  Other considerations with the servers are roles, workload, etc.  This is also going to vary widely, and there's no "this is the way everyone does it" answer.  If three was, they wouldn't need a smart IT guy like you.

I hope this helps.
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bankwestAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the input.................Pretty much what I thought and now to convince our Board when and how often we should do this.
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