"I don't need to refresh my old Oracle Servers, they work just fine"

By Mark Benson, Esteem's Director of Marketing and Alliances

After working in the Oracle arena for the last thirteen years I have seen a large number of organisations and one of the most common things I hear from companies when it comes to their Oracle hardware estate (or even Sun estate) is that it just works. Even the servers that are fifteen years old and became end of life around the same time are still performing the job they were asked to do back then. This is testament to the build quality of the servers, and it is great to see companies really sweating their assets, but what is the risk to following the mantra, 'if it ain't broke don't fix it'?

The pitfalls of legacy hardware are well known and are covered off in most articles relating to the IT lifecycle. These include;

  • Availability of Spares - the spares parts pool is an ever shrinking one and your four hour on site parts replacement just doesn't apply to a twelve year old server
  • Operating System - as with your hardware, the operating system you are running is probably as old as the server. This means it is probably unsupported and the security patches and bug fixes that used to come quarterly stopped a long time ago
  • Power and Cooling - That 10U server is a hungry beast and takes up a large amount of datacentre space, which we all know is at a premium
  • Legacy Set Up - Many of the legacy servers still only run a single application and are not virtualised, so as a result are massively underutilised

Add in the mix regulatory compliance, skills gap etc, and the legacy hardware estate can easily become a major headache for many organisations. One simple move is to port all of the applications and databases to a to a non SPARC server, but this then brings about challenges with licence compliance if you are looking at non-Oracle virtualisation. Also Oracle has worked very hard on making its SPARC platform the highest performing in the market and its latest chip set completely outperforms Intel when it is running a Oracle workload.

The final point I hear from customers is that Oracle is expensive, well for those of you that read my last blog - 'Oracle's New Game Changing Releases' you will know that the latest range of servers from Oracle comes with an X86 price tag. You also get free virtualisation and the highest performing chip on the planet for running Oracle workloads.

There is so much choice for organisations at the moment with the new S7 server, the Oracle Fujitsu M10 range of servers, the T7 and the M7 server as well. This does not include the plethora of Engineered Systems and Cloud options Oracle has as well. So the only question left is which system is the right one for your business objectives and workloads?

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