Wait As Long As Possible To Purchase Hardware

It seems to me that the longer you wait to purchase server hardware the more bang for your buck you’ll get.

Whole generations of technology come and go inside a single calendar year. Vendors release new products constantly, driving the price of the old technology down. The $25,000 you were going to spend to get X performance will get you 1.5 * X in a year. I’m putting together quotes for $7,000 replacements for $50,000 servers, four years old.

Another way to look at it is to buy only what you need at the time. Deploying an application and need a development environment? Buy just a development environment. Wait to buy the production hardware until you need it, and run the same OS on that faster, snazzier hardware.

Certainly a sane person balances this with other needs, like performance, staff scheduling, etc. VMware implementations often have to defy this because of VMotion constraints (since you need the same CPU family). But if you have the luxury of waiting to buy hardware, even to the end of a fiscal year, do it. You always end up with a better deal.

2 thoughts on “Wait As Long As Possible To Purchase Hardware”

  1. How do you determine which hardware vendor to go with? Do you have any issues using “white box” vendors, or do you primarily stick with big vendors like Dell or HP?

  2. I usually just default to Dell because I know what I’m getting. I’ve had horrible support experiences with IBM on their xSeries boxes (their pSeries support, in contrast, is awesome). I haven’t dealt with HP much.

    One thing that helps with Dell is that I am a certified warranty parts technician, so I can order replacement parts myself on their web site. It costs a few hundred dollars a year for the access but pays for itself in time spent on the phone (or rather, not on the phone). I hate explaining to a front-line tech that my disk is dead and I just need a new one. No really, it’s dead. Yes, I know what I’m talking about. Yes, the array rejected it. No, I’m not putting it back in the array to check. No, really. No, the next drive I put in is going to be a good one. Yes, thanks.


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