This weekend I was volunteering at my local railway museum in Essex, giving people cab rides in what we affectionately call “the W.D.” which is a fairly small (by railway standards) diesel shunter, originally built for the War Department in 1945 (hence the name). When people come up into the cab, they are always rather put-off by the very rudimentary controls – there is no ‘console’ or ‘dashboard’ as such – just a collection of dials and levers fitted directly to the bulkhead with all the valves and pipes on show. However, after a very short while, it all becomes pretty straightforward and you get used to the foibles of operating an old machine.
The thing that always surprises people about this little engine though is just how long it remained in ‘active service’ – serving from the end of the war in 1945 right through until 2006 when it entered preservation. That’s 61 years in service, and it doesn’t exactly get an easy life now either!
The other thing that surprises people is that it still has the original engine, which just goes to show that if something is well engineered to start with, then it can carry on being really useful for a very long time. So why shouldn’t the same be true for IT equipment?
If you’ve got an ageing CLARiiON or Celerra, then you’re probably thinking it’s about time to replace it with something new. Well, there is certainly a case for buying new products; they can be much faster, and they can save on power, cooling, and rack space in your data centre. But when you compare that to the cost and environmental impact of building, buying and installing a new system, those benefits wane somewhat. And you’ve probably got to learn something new and migrate all your data across – data that is often pretty stale and quite possible doesn’t need the earth-shattering performance that a shiny new storage array can offer.
So why not keep it going for a few more years? Especially if it’s no longer holding your most valuable Tier One data. This is where LifecycleStor comes in. We can provide that essential cover to keep your older equipment running. OK, we can’t write software updates for it, but with a well-established and mature product, how many software updates do you need? What we can do is to replace disks when they fail, as well as other things like power supplies. But the majority of this equipment just goes on and on, largely trouble-free for many years. So why not stick with what you know, and let it work a bit harder for you for a few years longer.