So what to do with 60 or so servers that are falling out their warranty period

I wanted share with you a bit of what is happening with a process on how we can save money with virtualization.

About 3 years ago or more, Virtualization was not the mainstream for most companies, personally, my current employer did not really get into it until about 18 months ago. So... we are doing our yearly review on what hardware warranty will end and at the moment it looks like that I will have over 60 physical servers that will need to be replaced or have a maintenance contract applied to them for the next year.

A bit of Math:

Average server (1QC/2GB RAM/2x73GB 15,000 SAS HD) - US$3,500
A maintenance contract (next business day [NBD]) for a year for the above mentioned 60 servers - $450 per server

So these are the options as I see them...

  1. Replace all Physical servers with new ones - US$210,000
  2. Renew Maintenance contracts for all servers - US$27,000 (per year)
  3. Migrate the machines to Virtual machines:
    2xESX Hosts - US$10,000
    2xESX Enterprise Licenses - US$17,000
    1 TB Central Storage - $3,000

So I guess you can see where I am going with this.. :)

No one in management is going to sign off on option 1.
I think you can see why option 3 is better than option 2. The cost of option 2 over 3 years - US$81,000. Option 2 - $US30,000 (including maintenance and support on VMware software for the period of 3 years).

Now the only thing I need to convince the brass about is that all these servers should not be migrated "as-is" to Virtual Machines, but re-installed to a new OS just as they would do if it would be migrated to new hardware. I really and truly do not want to drag over Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000 Server Operating Systems and continue to support them..

But that is a whole different ballgame, and for another post....