Is It Ever A Good Idea To Downgrade Your Server Hardware?
There’s plenty of advice online to walk you through when you should upgrade – and how to tell what you should upgrade to. That’s not surprising if you stop and think about it. Eventually, everyone’s business is going to outstrip the hardware they started with; eventually, everyone’s going to need to beef up their hosting.
But what if you end up spending too much?
Ideally, this isn’t a problem you ever want to address. Ideally, you want to have a solid idea of your budget, your resource requirements, and the projected growth of your business. But the thing about the real world is that it rarely works out in an ideal fashion.
What I’m saying is that even if you’ve a fairly good sense of what your business needs, there’s always a chance that you may end up overspending. Should this happen, there are a few steps you’re going to want to take before you evaluate what to do next – and whether or not you should stick with what you’ve got or downgrade to something lighter. Now, at this point it’s worth noting that we’re going to be talking more or less exclusively about hosting here; if you’re independently operating your own server or data center, then you probably don’t have a great deal to worry about here.
Anyway, the evaluation process goes a little something like this:
- Consider what hosting plan you’re using as well as what you’re using it for. Does it mesh with what you plan to use it for? If you’re simply hosting a small weblog, a dedicated server might be overkill; if you have a digital storefront, on the other hand, it might be just the ticket.
- As an addendum to the above, if you’re using a virtual server, scaling either up or down is pretty much effortless. That needs to be taken into account, as well.
- Check your budget. Will it cause considerable harm to your organization to continue spending as much as you are on hosting? If not, there’s no sense going through the hassle of downgrading – you’ll eventually grow enough to make use of the new hardware, right?
- Examine your projected growth again. If you feel your business is eventually going to scale up to the hardware you’ve purchased – and you’re positive your budget can handle a bit of extra weight until such time as it does – then you’re probably good to keep what you’ve purchased.
- Look at patterns involving your business. Do you tend to experience periods of particularly high traffic or massive spikes in resource usage? If so, it might be worthwhile to keep on with your more powerful hardware – though you could also go for a more flexible, scalable solution, as well.
- Finally, evaluate your host. Is downgrading a simple matter, or a headache for all parties? If it’s the former, and you’ve already gone through all the other steps, then it’s time to scale back. If it’s the latter, well…it might be time to switch hosts.
In a perfect world, you’ll never overspend on server hardware. Unfortunately, the real world is far from perfect. By understanding your business’s requirements and being flexible about your budget, you’ll be able to more accurately predict what you need – and more adequately understand when you’ve got more than that.