Replacing servers can be a costly, but necessary affair. Read on to find out how we saved over $20,000 in the process!
Rewind back to the 2013-2014 school year when three districts got shiny, new servers. The WCESD also did a "refresh" of several servers & a storage array. At the time, each server cost $5,259.86 and provided 8 CPU cores, 32GB of RAM, & 6TB of storage. In order to simplify the decision making process, this capacity was equated to "1 Egg."
This analogy was used because "putting all your eggs in one basket" was a way to balance risk tolerance with economies of scale. This allowed us to compare servers of varying size & capacity, and use the "price per egg" to compare their value. (see picture below)
Historically, we were purchasing double the capacity with each 5-year replacement cycle. However, due to current trends, many needs were being migrated to "the cloud" on a subscription basis. As a result, Districts chose to only maintain the existing capacity of "1 egg." An entire analysis was performed to evaluate moving more capacity to dedicated "cloud" hosting services such as AWS, Azure, & Google. However, Wallowa County's internet is still vulnerable and they weren't cost effective in the long run.
Superintendents decided to forego their own basket, opting for a centralized host at the WCESD data center. Additional costs were trimmed through collective bargaining, and model selection. Instead of $6,115.94 for each district to get a server in-house, they got a dedicated host for $3,335.75. Between the Districts and WCESD, those savings added up to $22,241.52!
Additionally (by centralizing) District servers will gain air conditioning, backup power, and will benefit from the higher 10G speeds in the data center. These are already being put to work for new needs from our switch to the Synergy software. Other workloads will be transitioning over soon.
As we gather all our assets in one, fast place, that leads us to our next challenge... back ups!