What will you do when one of your physical servers crashes? Recovering from the crash, even if you have redundant systems, can easily be more expensive than it would be to replace your old servers now. So how many years old is “too old?”
Some of my clients say “old” is when the server hardware goes out of warranty—often after 3 years.
Technology moves ahead very quickly anyway. Some of your hardware may not support some systems you need to support now without expensive upgrades anyway.
A technology called server virtualization can allow you to migrate servers off of ancient hardware onto new hardware that you already own. That means you may be able to retire old hardware without purchasing any new hardware.
When you are budgeting, remember that an IT Vital Systems Reviews from a qualified independent third party should never come out of the IT budget. Allow IT to spend their budget on products and services to keep your systems up and running. IT Vital Systems Reviews are an investment akin to “insurance against having problems in the future” than an expense.
If your physical servers are old, replace them. If you aren’t using server virtualization, consider moving to that technology since you will have fewer servers to be concerned about upgrading in the future.