Five Problems with Using End of Life (EOL) Hardware in the Data Center
When vendors announce end-of-life (EOL) status for servers, routers, and console managers that are part of data center infrastructure, IT administrators and network architects must re-evaluate their ecosystem of equipment. This ensures that mission-critical systems can continue to run optimally. Additionally, maintaining the highest levels of infrastructure availability in today’s digital economy isn’t just good policy – it’s expected.
Businesses that rely on antiquated hardware can end up creating multiple points of failure in their system architecture. Doing so also places the health and security of all connected equipment in significant danger. These perforations in enterprise networks can compromise productivity and an organization’s ability to serve both its internal and external customers.
While each manufacturer defines its level of engagement during a product’s phase-out process, it’s important for IT administrators to enact a replacement plan to avoid the following five problems that could arise from the continued use of end-of-life (EOL) equipment in their data centers:
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1. Compromised Data Security
After a manufacturer announces the end-of-life status of a product, it’s likely that security fixes, patches, and firmware updates for the product will be reduced or eliminated. These lapses in support create significant enterprise security risks and leave a company’s network open to malicious cyber-attacks.
2. Decreased Productivity
Using outdated equipment can significantly reduce productivity. First, older equipment is more likely to fail due to its age, disrupting operations. This may result in crippling and costly downtime. Second, identifying a suitable replacement takes time and will inevitably impact MTTR.
3. Higher Maintenance Costs
In many cases, when a product’s status is EOL, replacement parts are also discontinued. This means that replacement parts or accessories often become increasingly challenging and expensive to find with the passage of time. Sometimes businesses hire third-party consultants and support teams that create “band-aid” solutions for more complex issues. This too can further make using an EOL solution more expensive in the long-run than upgrading to newer equipment.
4. Problems with Scalability
EOL equipment often is limited in its ability to adapt to changing needs in the data center. IT professionals should make use of newer and more advanced equipment as the volume and complexity of data center operations increase. This will allow them to leverage technological improvements in areas like data processing, energy consumption, and modularity.
For IT infrastructure to remain compliant with regulatory standards, equipment must meet the required levels of protection and functionality espoused by each organization. This is particularly important for data centers operating in government and financial institutions where data breaches can result in severe legal consequences and penalties.
The Bottom Line:
Using EOL technology in data centers isn’t just problematic – it’s reckless. IT professionals responsible for maintaining uptime and health of the enterprise network need to be aware of the many risks associated with the use of dated equipment. They should proactively plan for the migration from EOL equipment to updated solutions.
As an experienced provider of secure data access and management solutions for IoT and IT assets, Lantronix is here to help our customers choose the best Out of Band Management (OOBM) solution that fits their unique needs. Whether it’s managing a few racks housed in a remote branch office or a large-scale data center, Lantronix IT infrastructure management solutions are designed to ensure cost-effective, robust and secure out-of-band management of the enterprise network. That’s why our solutions have been the preferred choice for some of the most recognizable financial services, telecommunications, retail, educational, networking, technology and government organizations worldwide.
Looking to replace a product that’s been EOL’d? View the list below for viable Lantronix alternatives.