I’m going to come out and admit that love Honda cars. They get great gas milage, they are afordable, and best of all they are super reliable. Some people want speed at the cost of all else. Reliability, safety and storage are the last thing on their minds, as they get a high from just looking at something fast. There is a time and place for both attitudes, but it is not in your server room.
When you’re looking at upgrades, is your IT guy obsessing over Ghz? Is he recommending a 1:1 replacement of 5 year old servers with new ones that run circles around the old ones? Any server upgrade should be made for strategic reasons, and while old servers do need to be replaced for efficiency/reliability and a host of other reasons, the FYIG staff finds that its uncommon to find a workload that a couple dozen old servers used to handle that can not be run on three new beefy machines thanks to the magical pixie dust called virtualization. Given big enough servers, you can have one fail and the other two will take over for their fallen comrade seamlessly. (There will be a post about this). If your IT guys are wanting more than 3 servers, you should be wanting some serious performance metrics out of them explaining why this is the case, and evidence that your utilization graph will not look like the above graph when you’re done.
Often times IT guys will shave off support (1 year instead of 3 or 5) so they can get more money for speed. This is like buying a new air intake, and not fixing your brakes. It will get you the scene of the crash a lot faster, but I’m not sure if thats where you or your business want to be. Another thing that is often left out is software licensing. (True outlaw drag racers don’t concern themselves with th law, they are too fast to get caught!). Even simple options like out of band management, and monitoring (being able to access and turn a server on and off remotely) are useless to the speed freak in your server room, as unified and simplified management might make him unnecessary. Kinda like my Mechanic after I traded in my exotic sports car for a Honda.