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Opportunities to Reduce IT Infrastructure Costs

Reducing the cost of operating IT infrastructures is something that every system administrator thinks about. Often times, people try to reduce costs by buying an older server, such as an HP G4 ProLiant server or a Dell 2900, but they haven’t thought about the problems that can accompany buying older or outdated equipment. From wasted energy to not being able to find support from vendors and suppliers, there are many things that can go wrong when your equipment is older.

Another common tactic that we see businesses resort to is not replacing older servers in the timeframe recommended by the manufacturer. In most cases, manufacturers will recommend replacement in three to five years, and it’s very unusual for that timeline to exceed five years. Once a server has surpassed its fifth year of service, according to experts, it costs 200% more to support it.

However, it’s still fairly common for businesses to hold on to that older server and just wait for it to fail instead of spending the money to replace it. They oftentimes do not look at how much money they’re spending to keep those older servers chugging along, or how much time is being invested in keeping them running.

If you’re trying to reduce IT costs in your organization, there are easier, more effective and more affordable ways than holding on to a server that should have already been put out to pasture. Finding the right server doesn’t have to cost a fortune, and there are several ways to make that purchase pay for itself. Let’s look at five ways you can reduce IT infrastructure costs.

Consolidate Your Resources

Making sure that you have the right equipment and that it’s all working together efficiently prevents both unnecessary overlaps and gaps in your IT resources. One way to ensure a smoother, simpler procurement process is by using Aventis Systems’ Infrastructure Analysis and Recommendation Services, which will analyze your current infrastructure. Then, we’ll talk with you about your anticipated growth and any changing needs you face to create a customized list of recommendations.

As part of this infrastructure analysis, our brand-agnostic engineers will provide a complete site analysis, conduct an inventory of your IT assets, assess your server and storage needs and carry out a thorough evaluation of your network infrastructure and capacity.

Use the Cloud — Wisely

Cloud-based storage options have dramatically lowered the cost for businesses. In addition to the cost of the physical equipment itself, there are power and cooling demands that can quickly add up. Moving to the cloud will reduce the amount of physical space you need, which will lower your monthly cash outlay. Also, the cost of renting storage and hardware is much less than owning it, since you only need to pay for what resources you use.

The cloud model allows you to adjust your usage to your needs, which means you can pay for more usage during peak business seasons but not have to continue using that much when your needs change. Modern data centers use significantly less power and take up less space than the data centers of old, which means they cost less for you to buy access to their servers.

Invest in Virtualization

Virtualization is one of the most effective ways to help your business slash costs. With virtualization, you’ll replace physical hardware with virtual options. When you move to virtualization, you’ll maximize your server resources and dramatically improve your utilization rates.

With virtualization, the workloads that run on servers are no longer on a specific, physical piece of hardware, and that allows multiple workloads to run simultaneously on the same piece of machinery. It is considered one of the more revolutionary technology solutions for IT infrastructures, as it gives businesses capabilities that simply could not occur when using a physical infrastructure.

This reduces costs because you can install multiple applications on a single physical server and will also enjoy related advantages of significant energy cost savings, less maintenance and greater productivity for IT staff, who will spend less time managing the equipment.

Think Refurbished

A great alternative to buying older equipment is to buy refurbished. Much like buying a slightly used car is a smarter investment than buying brand new, refurbished IT equipment can save money and allow you to get more features for a lower price. In fact, the cost of refurbished hardware can be as much as 50 percent lower than what you’ll pay for new equipment, and that means you can get a top-of-the-line previous generation piece of equipment at the price of an entry-level piece of current generation equipment.

The savings don’t stop there, however; several programs, such as Microsoft’s Registered Refurbisher Program, rewards users for buying refurbished and will allow you to purchase genuine Microsoft software at a much lower price. It’s also reliable and comes with a warranty, so you’ll know you’re protected.

Reduce Turnover and Consider Outsourcing

In a competitive work environment, it’s important to keep employees happy. One way to do that is to ensure that they have all the tools and equipment needed to perform their jobs, their workloads are manageable and that they feel they have the support of the company. This saves money on recruiting and onboarding new employees, and research shows that happier employees are more productive.

If you have a problem with turnover, or if you have experienced dramatic growth and have several positions to fill, you might consider partnering with an MSP, or managed service provider.

An MSP can provide your small business with access to IT capabilities you may not have in house, and can better predict potential IT support costs and help you budget more effectively overall. It can remotely manage your IT infrastructure, end-user systems and mobile devices.

Typically, you’ll pay a flat fee every month for a specified menu of services instead of paying an hourly rate as you would for employees and contractors.

Save Money the Right Way

There are many different ways to save money on your IT infrastructure costs without compromising the quality of equipment you’re using. When it comes to your infrastructure, it’s important that you cut costs, not corners. Taking a strategic approach to your cost-cutting measures will pay off for you and prevent you from paying for your frugality down the road.

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