Business servers older than five years are costing businesses all over the UK millions of pounds every year, warn Midlands IT experts Netmetix Limited.
Physical servers are increasingly incurring costs for support and maintenance charges and often lead to decreased levels of productivity when systems are down. Industry guidelines suggest that businesses consider implementing a server refresh policy activated every 3 to 5 years.
Cloud computing is one area that could help businesses overcome hefty refresh schedules on office based server equipment. Greig Schofield, business development manager of Netmetix explains: “The best way for businesses to avoid the escalating costs that traditional IT systems can incur is to transfer to a hybrid cloud environment so that the organisation can still manage some resources in-house but have others provided externally, resulting in fewer maintenance costs.”
Risk of data loss is more prevalent in systems of a greater age predominantly due to the hard drives, as constant spinning at speeds of up to 15,000RPM over a few years causes the bearings to become worn and will inevitably lead to failure at some point. Disaster and data loss costs businesses across the world billions of pounds each year. The Department of Trade and Industry revealed last year that 70% of UK businesses that suffered a catastrophic data loss were closed within 18 months, and the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry also said that 43% of companies experiencing disasters never recover.
The predicted trend for 2013 in order to overcome these risks is that of a hybrid approach to business IT, as outlined by The Cloud Industry Forum sponsored conference at the end of last year. A hybrid cloud service allows a business to take advantage of the scalable costs associated with cloud computing without exposing important company information to third party companies. This comes based on a survey conducted of 250 end user businesses in the UK finding that 92% are satisfied with their cloud experiences so far and 76% look to expand their cloud usage over the next 12 months.
Greig continues: “Cloud based services aren’t for everyone but we can help a business decide the best route forward. We find that quite often businesses want to try it, but don’t really want to move everything due to risk and the unfamiliar territory. The hybrid approach allows an organisation to pick certain elements of the infrastructure, such as the email system.”
Netmetix is a leading cloud provider in the region and has recently added a range of new products to its cloud offering that adopt the hybrid model. These services include Virtual Server Infrastructure, which moves existing services into a secure cloud environment, Hosted Exchange which enables businesses to host their own email systems and the Hosted Virtual Desktop which brings more flexibility to an end user. All these services mix on premise and cloud IT systems to offer a more secure level of data storage.
Greig concludes: “Taking a hybrid approach to the cloud offers more flexibility to your business and effectively allows you to test the water with the technology without feeling vulnerable. We recognise that many businesses across the UK are spending more money on their traditional services without noticing and it is important that they recognise the false economy they create. The traditional server as we know it certainly isn’t dead, and won’t be for any length of time however when you next review your strategy it would be a wise move to consider a new approach.”