No machine is meant to last forever. Your refrigerator, your car, and your servers are all depreciating in value and efficiency the moment they leave the factory. Technology advances so quickly that older versions are quickly becoming outdated technology. But that legacy equipment didn’t come cheap and it’s hard to let go of something you’ve invested so much time and money. But, what could the costs be to your future if you don’t upgrade?
An article from Rackspace outlines some of the biggest threats:
Security risks are the number one danger of older technology. The older your operating system or application, the easier the bad guy hackers have to find and exploit vulnerabilities. This is especially true when the manufacturer is no longer actively maintaining support. A recent study by security firm Cenzic, found the application layer continues to be a soft target for cyber-attacks. Ninety-six percent of all applications tested in 2013 have one or more serious security vulnerabilities. The median number of vulnerabilities per app has elevated to 14 from last year’s count of 13. Dangers can lurk across the entire aging application platform. Your older versions of SQL Server are at risk. Perhaps you are still using an old FTP server that’s innocently sitting in the corner. Or you have some older network equipment and appliances. The bottom line is anything that listens on the network is a potential threat to the server, and therefore your business. If that software or firmware isn’t up to date, you’re doubly at risk of a major security incident. This is prevalent on computer infrastructure hardware, phone systems, all in one devices (fax-copier-scanner).
Hard drives are the most likely point of failure in older hardware since they have moving parts. A hard drive failure usually results in severe data loss, and data recovery attempts may cause further damage if not done correctly. Using Solid State Drives helps alleviate some of these risks and also adds performance. RAID arrays are designed to guard against the impact of disk failure, and it’s certainly better than nothing, but you’re not guaranteed that an array will rebuild when you replace a failed drive. There can be errors on other drives that come to light during rebuild and will prevent the array from properly rebuilding. This is where virtualization can take you to that next level. By taking your data operations to the cloud,you no longer have to do full backups as if virtualized in service providers data center – the back up is done by the provider. These virtual machines can be moved from one server to another and redeployed easier and faster. Snapshots can be taken throughout the day, ensuring much more up-to-date data. And because firing up a snapshot is even faster than booting a typical server, downtime is dramatically cut.
Bit rot… this is the idea that bits in memory or on disk can silently decay. From Wikipedia, “With ever-growing disk capacities, file sizes, and increases in the amount of data stored on a disk, the likelihood of the occurrence of bit rot and other forms of uncorrected and undetected data corruption increases.” While the error rate of enterprise grade hardware may seem incredibly low, as you increase the amount of data stored your chances of being impacted go from trivially low to a rate that you might start thinking about. Again, virtualization of the data center practically eliminates this issue. The cloud can update software and processing power automatically meaning you always have current drivers and apps… no decay!
The total impact these threats can have is far worse than any one of their individual impacts. Outdated technology can put you behind the competition. Newer technology in general, and cloud computing in particular, can give your organization resilience, efficiency, and flexibility that older tech just isn’t capable of. Your business needs to be agile, and our services can get you there.
We take the time to listen to your goals, and your concerns, for your future. CTG takes a deep dive on your current technology and providers and help you find the best approach for the future. We are vendor-agnostic. That means we’ll find you the providers that are right for your business. We pride ourselves on our partnerships with our clients. Call us today to find out how to get started.