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Choosing New vs. Refurbished: Ten Ways to Decide Which Server Is Right For You

October 23, 2020

The end of 2020 is near and you have some cash left in your budget. It’s time for your business to purchase some servers and a few questions come to mind.

  • “Which vendor do I choose?”
  • “What form factors do I need?”
  • “What configuration choices should I make?”

But these questions overlook something fundamental, a question that could save you money as well as offer added flexibility.

“Should I choose new or refurbished?”

If you follow the news, you know that Amazon, of all people, discovered that they can use their servers, intensively, for four years with no decrease in reliability or performance.

Enterprises have been experimenting with stretching server depreciation to five years or more for some time. That’s because servers are more reliable than ever before, processor generations aren’t doubling in performance as they once did, and underlying technologies (drives, networking) are mature and aren’t rapidly evolving.

At ServerMonkey, we offer both new servers and refurbished servers, from a range of Tier 1 suppliers, including HPE and Dell EMC. Every day, we have customers asking whether they should buy new or refurbished and which is the best for their business needs.

Below you will find a list of considerations to help guide you to the right choice.

New servers

  1. Does your workload need the highest performance? If you need bleeding-edge processor performance, the best place to get that is from a new server.
  2. Do you have an extensive budget? New servers cost more than refurbished servers, there’s no way around that.
  3. Do you need an emerging technology, like double-wide GPUs? Some older servers might not provide optimal support for the latest technologies.
  4. Do you need vendor-supplied services -- installation, maintenance, support? If you’ve chosen single-vendor support or need specialized services from the vendor, buying new servers is the right choice.
  5. Are you able to wait? Sometimes new servers come with long lead times. If you’re able to wait a week, a few weeks, or even a month, new servers work well.

Refurbished servers

  1. Can your workload function well without bleeding-edge performance? Refurbished servers often come with previous-generation technology that can handle more than you may need from your server.
  2. Do you have a restricted budget? Refurbished servers let you stretch your budget. Imagine getting fifteen refurbished servers for the price of ten new ones, and you can easily see the advantages.
  3. Is this server a part of a cluster, so that if it has a failure, there’s no downtime? Applications, where workloads are distributed over many servers, don’t fail if a server in the cluster fails. Whether you’re building HCI, virtualized infrastructure, or container infrastructure, the failure of a single server won’t take down your application.
  4. Would a third-party support package work for you? Organizations like ServerMonkey provide third-party services like warranty support for refurbished hardware. Those support packages can save money without added complexity or compromise.
  5. Do you need the server right away? Refurbished servers are ready to be assembled and ship to your organization in a couple of days.

As you can see from this list, new and refurbished servers offer different advantages and disadvantages. The decision on which works best for your business is up to you and whichever option you choose ServerMonkey is ready to assist.

Contact us today to get started on your next project.