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New vs Old #3: The Question of Composability

23 August 2019
New vs Old #3: The Question of Composability
Savings on the purchase price are by far the most important factor when choosing second user servers. But as discussed in the previous two articles of this series, cost savings can continue well after the hardware has been installed in your data centre. In this third instalment of New vs Old we look at how used servers can help you build a composable operating environment.

DevOps is driving change

Businesses are undergoing a period of constant change. As customer and shareholder demands shift, your business processes and operations need to be regularly re-aligned. For many organisations, adopting DevOps methodology helps to provide a framework to accelerate the pace of change. But they also need a flexible infrastructure that can be reconfigured or adjusted quickly. According to Dell (and other vendors), the solution is composability. Under this infrastructure model, operations are abstracted from the underlying server hardware. Instead of dedicating physical servers to specific tasks, all of your machines are deployed in a cloud-like pool of shared resources; software then manages how and where applications are installed, and their access to RAM, CPU and storage.

Building block data centres

In theory, composable systems are completely agnostic about the underlying hardware. But using a common server model to create modular deployments creates additional value, by making the platform easier to support. The beauty of a modular composable data centre is that you can simply ‘drop in’ additional servers as and when additional capacity is required. The management software layer takes care of allocating and managing them.

Why used beats new

If your business is caught in the vendor-defined upgrade cycle however, you cannot easily choose a base server. As servers reach end of service life, you will come under pressure to replace them with brand new equivalents. To maintain a fully vanilla platform, you will need to replace all of your servers each time. Once your chosen server model is obsoleted, your only choice is to purchase reconditioned machines. This will allow you to maintain existing modularity and acquire the capacity you need. As an added bonus you escape the vendor upgrade trap and regain complete control of your data centre. In this context, choosing used servers helps to reduce support and maintenance costs, and your engineers’ learning curve because they will already be fully experienced with the ‘new’ machines. Second user servers could be the key to maximising your DevOps efforts and helping your business reach its strategic targets. To discuss your server strategy, or to see if we have your chosen server models in stock, please give ETB a call.
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