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joshb
Don't sweat the small stuff.
Premium
join:2006-03-04
Calgary, AB

10 year old server

I'm in the last stage of a network upgrade. We've got all but one server upgraded at this point. For some odd reason this server got passed up on the last round of upgrades. I was not working here at the time so I can not say why or what happened. For some odd reason I've hit a stone wall on trying to convince management to upgrade this server. There are zero issues compatibility wise. As I have ran all the software on it in the lab on a 2008 server. They have money available.

I've used all the tactics I can think of to try and get it through managements head that a 10 year old server is NOT okay. Pointing out the cost of down time, risk of data loss, cost of data loss. Cost of lost productivity. It just does not seem to fly. Ironically it's cheapest of all the hardware to replace. around 5K..

Looking for any other ideas.

Thanks for the help.

Joshb

PS, yes I know my grammar probably sucks. So no need to point it out.
--
Middle Age: The time between I don't care and medicare



donoreo
Premium
join:2002-05-30
North York, ON

There may be reasons that you do not know about as to why they will not replace the server. Just make sure they are aware of the issues of NOT doing it so that you are covered in case one of those things happen.



rsaturns

join:2004-12-06
Beaverton, OR

1 edit
reply to joshb

Sounds like it's time to trip over that server's power cord.... Seriously though I would probably ask if I could run a staged DR exercise. Shutdown the server and have them experience the impact to business so they are fully aware first hand what that box does. Then they can make a ya or nay call on it.

And of course document document document. That way when they come back, when it does blow up you can throw the book at them and say I warned you. Sometimes it's best to let them burn themselves, so they can learn.

-Edited for comprehension, not enough coffee.

--
»vinfotech.blogspot.com



joshb
Don't sweat the small stuff.
Premium
join:2006-03-04
Calgary, AB

said by rsaturns:

And of course document document document. When they come back with no that way when it does blow up you can throw the book at them and say I warned you. Sometimes it's best to let them burn themselves, so they can learn.

LOL, tripping over the power cord... I was thinking accidentally pull one of the hard drives out.. The server has Hot swap drive bays. But the raid controller does not support hot swap functionality...

Overall I think just letting it burn out and documenting my a**hole to the moon is going to be my best tactic.. Some times it does take a hard fall before people learn.

Thanks again.

Joshb
--
Middle Age: The time between I don't care and medicare

lorennerol
Premium
join:2003-10-29
Seattle, WA
reply to joshb

Any reason you can't just run a P2V on it? That's been my solution to old software platforms that clients still need, but are at risk due to ancient hardware. Virtually no hardware cost and very little labor cost.



workablob

join:2004-06-09
Houston, TX
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to donoreo

said by donoreo:

There may be reasons that you do not know about as to why they will not replace the server. Just make sure they are aware of the issues of NOT doing it so that you are covered WHEN one of those things happen.

I fixed that for you

Dave
--
I may have been born yesterday. But it wasn't at night.


DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
Premium
join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
kudos:3
reply to joshb

I would try to get the reason for not upgrading it out of them.
--
»Death Star Petition



The WeaseL
Premium
join:2001-12-03
Minnesota
reply to joshb

Get it all documented and have them physically sign it. Make sure everyone has copies. Do your best to keep it working and when it shits the bed they can learn.
--
How lucky am I to have known someone who is so hard to say good-bye to.



donoreo
Premium
join:2002-05-30
North York, ON
reply to workablob

said by workablob:

said by donoreo:

There may be reasons that you do not know about as to why they will not replace the server. Just make sure they are aware of the issues of NOT doing it so that you are covered WHEN one of those things happen.

I fixed that for you

Dave

Funny, that is what I meant to say!
--
The irony of common sense, it is not that common.
I cannot deny anything I did not say.
A kitten dies every time someone uses "then" and "than" incorrectly.
I mock people who give their children odd spelling of names.

bobk4000

join:2003-10-17
Saint Paul, MN
kudos:1
Reviews:
·CenturyLink
reply to DarkLogix

said by DarkLogix:

I would try to get the reason for not upgrading it out of them.

Adding on to DarkLogix - yes, find the 'business' reason why they don't want to upgrade. There may be something beyond spending money as to why they won't upgrade it. Maybe it was the company's first server and they have fond memories having it around.

Other angles to try:

Check with the hardware vendor and inquire about replacement parts for a server that old. Things like motherboard, power supplies, memory, RAID controller and hard drives. There is a possibility that the server is end-of-life with the vendor and parts are no longer available. Then your only option is to try and find them from old server resellers, if they still have them. And to factor in delays in getting the parts or having them shipped next day air with those costs. I'm going to take a guess and say the hard drives are SCSI, and may be 2, 4 or 9 GB in size with 50 or 68 pins - you can't get those from a local computer store.

If the server is running Server 2003 you can still get security updates, but if it's Win2K or (eeek! NT4) Microsoft is no longer supplying security updates. Same with older versions of Linux.

What role or software does this server run for the business? Is there anything proprietary on it, perhaps with a hardware dongle plugged into a parallel or other port for licensing software? Proprietary or customized software on it?

From my experience older servers (Dell, in my case) can keep chugging along until the RAID controller lets loose and the server won't boot especially with the 2650's and for some reason the 1U 1850's, and less with the 2850's.

Make sure the entire server is being backed up reliably - yeah, it goes without saying but you want to be able to recover, even if it is to a different server in case the old one gives out. Last thing you want to do is incur the cost of sending the hard drives out to a data recovery place.

Hope this helps.
Bob


joshb
Don't sweat the small stuff.
Premium
join:2006-03-04
Calgary, AB

Thanks for the head up on the dell hardware. It just so happens these are dell servers and the models you spoke of to boot. The drives are 60 Gig SCSI Drives. Not sure on the pin count.

Not really worried about the OS on it. I can deal with the OS and security issues. It's the hardware that worries me more.

I have and did make some pretty large changes to the backup system to make sure we are getting everything from that old server. Slowed down the backup system let me tell you... Almost doubled the time required.

In any case I will continue to keep poking around and see what I get for answers.

Thanks everyone for the advice.

Joshb
--
Middle Age: The time between I don't care and medicare



FiReSTaRT
Premium
join:2010-02-26
Canada
Reviews:
·Velcom

I wouldn't try to dig into the background reasons as that may indicate insubordination to some die-hard powertrippers. Prepare a report (on company time), outline the factors, outline the projected consequences of not replacing it and leave the decision field blank, with a signature line so somebody in the mgmt will be blamed in case anything happens. Take good care of the original and keep a few copies stashed around the place. Those types will understand the CYA, as they must have cabinets full of that junk.
--
If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.
—George Bernard Shaw


JoelC707
Premium
join:2002-07-09
Lanett, AL
kudos:5
reply to joshb

You mentioned it was one of those models, which one? I happen to have a 2600, 1750, 1850 and 2850 sitting in my personal rack right now. All of them AFAIK support hotswap, but they all do also have PERC RAID enabled, maybe that's the difference?

The 2600 was our first server purchased at work and it started developing memory errors and a flaky power supply. I had already moved most things over to VM on new (at the time) 2950 III's but this was one lone straggler.

I looked at hardware replacement costs and I was actually able to get the 2850 for a little less, got better CPUs and more RAM than the 2600 had. Plus it was a local seller so I just went and picked it up and didn't bother with shipping. Win-win for me at the time. Yeah I could have done a P2V on it and eventually I did but at the time, I was running short of RAM in the virtual servers.

Interestingly that 2850 was just moved to a new location with me and it died out of no where. Can't find anything wrong with it but it did briefly display an E1000 Fail Safe error message. It no longer displays that but doesn't power up all the way. No amounts of cleaning or reseating anything makes a difference. Sadly I have no spares of anything other than RAM so I can't do much troubleshooting.

Still, this just goes to show that things can go wrong out of nowhere. And I'll echo the others, if they don't want to upgrade it you need CYA documentation. There may be a perfectly valid reason for keeping it, such as a hardware authentication key, though admittedly if there is one it should be fairly obvious. Personally I'm OK with "We don't want to upgrade it" but can't you at least tell me why? And I don't buy the insubordination bit, though if there really is someone on a power trip then all bets are off lol.


lorennerol
Premium
join:2003-10-29
Seattle, WA

I just had one down with an E1000 error. It also wouldn't post. It was a failed RAID controller. Remove it and see if it posts. Some of the cards are readily available from used part vendors.



Somnambul33t
L33t.
Premium
join:2002-12-05
Blackwood, NJ
reply to joshb

Just P2V it and forget about it.



joshb
Don't sweat the small stuff.
Premium
join:2006-03-04
Calgary, AB

said by Somnambul33t:

Just P2V it and forget about it.

I would if I could... I do not have any available hardware to do so.

Regards

Joshb
--
Middle Age: The time between I don't care and medicare


Somnambul33t
L33t.
Premium
join:2002-12-05
Blackwood, NJ
reply to joshb

You dont use virtualization at all, or your existing solution is already maxed?



joshb
Don't sweat the small stuff.
Premium
join:2006-03-04
Calgary, AB

said by Somnambul33t:

You dont use virtualization at all, or your existing solution is already maxed?

Existing solution is at max...
--
Middle Age: The time between I don't care and medicare