In today’s economic climate, it often makes more sense to buy used servers rather than new hardware, for several reasons. Cost, of course, is the most pressing reason, and why many small businesses and new startups elect for refurbished hardware instead.There may be a stigma attached to previously owned equipment, but what most clients don’t know is that reputable sellers maintain tight quality controls on their products, as does the original server manufacturer. In fact, many of the machines are off lease or factory refurbished equipment and is just as reliable and functional as equipment that may be several times more expensive.
When should a business buy used servers instead of a new piece of hardware?
It depends on what a company’s needs are. The reality is, new generation hardware does not offer huge performance differences any more. Often RAM is more of the deciding factor in server speed than the processor. What that means is that often times buying a used server does not mean a loss of performance. For smaller companies, it usually makes financial sense to purchase hardware that’s a generation behind, as long as it’s being purchased from a reputable seller. Older equipment that is not serviced, fixed, and updated before it is sold again will be unpredictable and reach the end of its life much faster. Often this is common with online auction sites. That cut-rate hardware may seem like a great deal at first, but when it fails a few months later, it can potentially create a nightmare. Fortunately, such disasters are fairly rare, as companies that sell poor quality hardware don’t remain in the industry for long.
In summary, if a business is okay with not buying new, they can find a system that is much more cost effective. Once the business starts growing and needs more from its network, there is always the possibility of upgrading.
What should a company look for in a seller?
The decision to buy used servers is a major one, requiring careful thought. And make sure the reseller can be trusted.
While experience is not a definite sign that a seller can be trusted, it’s usually a great indication. Again, it’s hard for a seller to stick around for long if they are selling a bad product. Make sure that the seller can explain its refurbishment processes clearly and thoroughly, as some services only perform basic upkeep, and this can lead to reduced life. A poorly controlled work environment, like one without grounding, can also impact the hardware’s life, so make sure this isn’t a problem.
Finally, is the seller willing to configure the hardware for the business, and do they have capable engineers on hand who can provide ongoing support if further configuration or updates are needed? Operating systems, diagnostics, and firmware are being improved all the time, and staying on the cutting edge will greatly improve performance.
The company’s network is, perhaps, its greatest asset. So make sure it is given the respect it deserves with hardware that is up to the task.