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Older generations of servers can be used for longer with the right spare parts

The pace of technological development is rapid, especially in the IT sector. New generations of devices are appearing at ever shorter intervals, with each new generation significantly outperforming its predecessor in terms of performance, capacity and efficiency. This trend is more noticeable in consumer hardware for private users than in servers and workstations, for example, but the performance of professional solutions also increases significantly with each new generation within a few years. 

In special scenarios, however, it may be necessary to keep older legacy systems and IT old-timers in operation despite their limited performance. In practice, used spare parts and devices are of particular importance, as they are often only available in very limited quantities or no longer as new goods from the manufacturer after a certain point in time following the release of a new server generation. Only in this way is it possible to carry out the maintenance and repairs necessary for reliable continuous operation, to upgrade older servers at low cost or, in the event of a major defect, to replace entire units with models of the same type. In order to be able to respond as quickly as possible in the event of a failure, it is therefore essential to stock rare and compatible server hardware in older IT infrastructures.

Compatibility and cost - the benefits of older servers for specific requirements

Although older generations of equipment are inferior to their successors in almost every way, they often still have their place and there are various reasons for using older servers.

  • The integration of new server systems is usually associated with high acquisition costs and long delivery times. In addition, migration problems can delay modernisation, which in many cases requires the extended temporary use of existing hardware. Particularly in the case of entire infrastructures of older servers, storage systems and network equipment, upgrading involves a lengthy planning process that can be bridged with existing technology.
  • Modern devices and their operating systems are often not compatible with older applications. When software is no longer being developed, but is essential to a business, there is no alternative to continuing to run compatible servers until the costly implementation of new software solutions. In such circumstances, the performance provided is usually sufficient and the systems enable the availability of critical data and applications within their technical limits.

The right components and spares for older servers

The range of used spare parts available for older servers is generally more limited than for newer generations. Production has usually ceased, so the availability of devices and parts on the market becomes increasingly difficult over time.

Devices

In order to replace older servers when they fail, equivalent devices are often required for a successful replacement, taking into account compatibility with software and the remaining infrastructure. The availability of used models can vary greatly from manufacturer to manufacturer. However, well-known brands such as HPE ProLiant servers or Dell PowerEdge devices are widely available, making it easier to find older generations of these servers.

Motherboards

The platform of any server is the motherboard. It connects all the installed components and enables them to communicate for data exchange. As older software in particular often requires hardware with specific characteristics, the replacement of a faulty system board usually has to be done with a used spare part of the same generation. This allows the existing components to be used after the server has been repaired.

Processors

The introduction of new generations of servers is often accompanied by the introduction of new processors. Since CPUs (central processing units) from Intel and AMD require specific processor sockets for installation depending on the generation, older servers can only be upgraded or replaced with used CPUs of the corresponding compatible chip generation. The technical documentation for the devices usually contains detailed information on which processors are supported.

Memory

When configuring older servers, memory compatibility is also a key factor. Only the appropriate generation of memory can be used to add additional RAM (Random Access Memory) or replace defective memory. The different DDR-RAM (Double Data Rate) standards also have different clock speeds, which must be taken into account when selecting main memory, depending on the server model.

Cooling

In order for servers to perform at their best, they need proper cooling. It is important to note that older systems need to be equipped with compatible fans and air ducts in addition to the CPU cooler that matches the processor socket. As only specific chassis fans and air ducts can be installed, depending on the generation of the server, the availability of suitable used spare parts is crucial for the reliable continuous operation of older servers.

Adapter cards

Adapting server solutions to the requirements of the application and the existing infrastructure is essential for optimal use of the systems. The adapter cards needed to expand older servers are often rare and no longer available in unlimited quantities, even when they are used. For example, model-specific compatible network cards enable connection to the network environment, and used graphic cards offer compatibility with older software in use.

Controllers & accessories

Other aspects of adapting the server configuration include storage management and remote administration. Older systems often require rare and specialised controllers that are compatible with the server generation and often manufacturer-specific expansion slots. These include used RAID controllers (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) for managing installed hard disks of different connection standards such as SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment) and SAS (Serial Attached SCSI), as well as remote controllers for remote management of older servers.

Hard disks

In older generation servers, the required storage capacity is usually provided by hard disks with SATA or SAS connections. Both standards are available in a range of specifications that differ in the transfer speeds that can be achieved. Therefore, in addition to the capacity required, the generation of connectors available is an important factor in selecting suitable used hard drives for older servers in order to achieve an optimal storage configuration.

Power supplies

The reliability of a server's power supply is usually increased by using redundant power supply units. The uninterrupted operation of older servers therefore also depends on the availability of suitable spare parts for the quick replacement of individual defective modules. In addition to compatibility with the server chassis and connection to the system's power supply backplane board, it is also important to ensure that the power supplies provide sufficient output. Older server hardware often has a higher power consumption, which must be taken into account when selecting suitable used power supply units.

Refurbished older servers and spare parts at affordable prices - ServerShop24

Maintaining older IT infrastructures can be a growing challenge due to the limited availability of necessary spare parts and devices. However, to ensure that your data and applications are available on older servers, you have a cost-effective way of overcoming this challenge with used and carefully inspected older server hardware from our online shop. In addition to older generation server systems from renowned manufacturers, you can often find rare components, expansion cards and spare parts at low prices in our range.
Since 2010, we are your reliable partner for professionally refurbished used servers, storage systems, workstations, network equipment, components and accessories. All products in our online shop are available with short delivery times due to fast shipping from our warehouse. Depending on the urgency, you can choose from different shipping options. If you have any questions about products or your order, our experienced and friendly support team will assist you. Contact us by phone, email, live chat or via our ticket system - we will take care of your request!