In last month’s blog post, we talked about the reasons why we need to upgrade key server software such as Windows Server and VMWare. With the loss of technical support combined with security issues that plague old software, not upgrading can put your business at risk. Now let’s talk about the reason why we should want to upgrade this software in 2024. It’s all about business transformation. Improved speed, performance, and efficiency
Newer software is generally designed to give you better performance and operate more efficiently. Updated software takes advantage of new hardware features that accelerate commonly used functions and algorithms. An example of this is encryption.
As encryption algorithms continue to increase in complexity to protect against attacks, the number and type of computations that need to be performed increase. Software-based algorithms end up taking longer to execute, slowing down performance. CPUs, however, are regularly adding special instructions or acceleration engines that allow hardware to handle the encryption algorithms significantly faster than software-only implementations.
Newer software that uses hardware accelerators and new CPU instructions delivers improved performance. This allows your business to continue its digital transformation by increasing the use of encryption to protect sensitive business data without adversely impacting overall system performance. Upgrading is especially important if you’re running old software on newer hardware. Old versions won’t know about the new hardware accelerators in your server and will use slower, less efficient methods. Instead of taking advantage of the hardware you’ve paid for, your old software leaves those accelerators unused.
Cloud integration and flexibility
Think about how much the technology landscape has changed since February 2020 when we first starting hearing about a virus beginning to spread across the globe. The impact of the lockdowns and supply chain disruptions fundamentally altered the IT infrastructure required to run a successful business. Today, businesses depend on cloud computing for almost every aspect of business: back office tools, business applications, teleconferencing and collaboration, data storage and backup, and many others.
- If you’re still running Windows Server 2019 on your servers, how well do you think your infrastructure is optimized for a post-pandemic business model?
- If your virtual machines are still being managed by VMWare 6.7 (released two years before the start of the pandemic), how well can you take advantage of the scalability of cloud-based computing?
When you upgrade to the latest versions of these tools, the foundation of your IT infrastructure is running on software that was designed for a post-pandemic world. For example, Windows Server 2022 not only can handle larger workloads, but also offers enhanced support for hybrid environments that combine local servers with cloud-based resources, allowing businesses to customize their compute resources (and cost structures) for their specific needs. The latest version of VMWare allows your onpremises workloads to easily be enhanced with cloud services and allow those workloads to be easily moved into the cloud when you see a spike in business and need extra computing power.
This flexibility and scalability are going to be a critical business requirement as we move forward. Just as businesses that couldn’t quickly adapt to the impact of the pandemic suffered against more agile competitors, businesses that cannot rapidly scale their computing resources and associated costs up and down in response to business conditions won’t be nearly as competitive as those that can.
New technologies like AI
Newer server tools also take advantage of Artificial Intelligence to provide insight into the server’s performance and utilization trends to help businesses reduce operating costs. For example, if a certain application is suddenly consuming more resources than normal, or utilization is growing faster than planned, the server software can alert you to either look for a problem or plan for expansion. Server manufacturers are also utilizing these capabilities to improve their support to customers. By using AI to monitor millions of installed servers, manufacturers can better predict and prevent problems. Customers end up with servers that are more reliable and less expensive to maintain.
Imagine the possibilities
Upgrading to the latest versions of server software in 2024 will give your business a technology foundation that is designed to be dynamic, flexible, and innovative. Future technology efforts such as expanding your use of cloud computing or artificial intelligence will be easier with modern software tools that were designed to enable those capabilities. Plus you’ll get the latest security features and performance optimizations to help ensure things run smoothly.