[CentOS] 10 Year old IT Infrastructure

Gordon McLellan gordonthree at gmail.com
Sat Oct 10 00:08:56 UTC 2009


On Fri, Oct 9, 2009 at 6:29 PM, Shawn Everett <shawn at tandac.com> wrote:
> Hi Guys,
>
> I have a client who hopes to keep their server another 5 years making it
> 10 years old at that time.
>
> At this point there are no plans to add new infrastructure or a new server
> to the mix.  Their business model is fairly static.
>
> I'd like to see them upgrade.  Can anyone suggest specific reasons why
> running a business on 10 year old equipment is a bad thing?
>
> Specific arguments I can think of would be:
> - Hard/Impossible to find replacement hardware
> - Lack of support for both H/W and S/W
> - Possibly unable to run current versions of CentOS
> - Higher probability of hardware failures over time
> - Performance bottlenecks
>

So they're running a five year old version of centos now?  There's no
reason a server if properly maintained shouldn't run for ten years.
Upgrading just for the sake of upgrading isn't much of a
justification.   Unless the machine is showing signs of degradation,
there's no reason to fault the hardware.  Software support is a
subjective problem; software support for what exactly?  If the machine
has made it five years with no hardware failures, anything that was
going to fail should have by now.  Slow performance might be a valid
point, but it ties into the software question, what exactly does the
server do, is high performance a big issue?

One of my customers is running a 12+ year old SCO machine right now,
and it's running custom software created more like 20 years ago.  The
vendor that set it all up is a "one man" operation, and it looks like
he could fall over at any minute.  The data is all locked up in
thousands of files that comprise some sort of crazy proprietary
database.  The server's power supply has been complaining lately, so
the client went to the vendor for a quote on fixing the problem.  The
vendor's solution is to spend thousands and thousands for new hardware
and to "upgrade" the software.  Researching the problem I contacted a
regulatory agency that overseas the operation of my client and found
documentation it was strongly advised ten years ago that they stop
using the vendors software and hardware.  That advice was ignored and
now they have an expensive mess with no clean way out.

Lots of fun!
-Gordon


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