Server Replacements


All server replacements should incorporate the following steps:

  • Planning
  • Testing
  • Implementing

Planning for Server Replacements


Planning a server replacement is important because it is the planning stage that should help determine:

  • Hardware - consider what to do with the existing hardware. Is the hardware being replaced because it is old or it has been outgrown?
  • Resources - can the existing server be repurposed to fit another business need or if not, can some of the components be used to upgarde other servers? What requirements do current applications require or are new applications being pursued?
  • Accessibility - who is going to need access to the server's resources? Mobile workers and employees at other locations will need VPN access set up.
  • Timelines - creating a timeline for the replacement is important as it helps the project stay on task. If there are deadlines associated with the server replacement, this will drive the timeline and everyone working on this project should be aware of these deadlines. Lastly, be sure to plan the replacement when there will be the least amount of traffic accessing those resources. Depending upon the company, this might be early morning, late at night, on weekends or holidays.
  • Communication - the timeline for the replacement should be communicated with all departments in the company. This helps manage expectations as well as identifying potential conflicts with the timeline.


Testing is the phase that needs to be the most thorough and should include:

  • Verifying the configuration does not conflict with any other devices
  • Opening installed applications to ensure they were installed and configured correctly
  • Making sure other devices and users can communicate with the new server
  • Checking permissions to verify the right permissions have been given to applications and shared resources
  • Verifying all operating system and application updates have been applied so once the server is live an update does not cause problems
  • Accessing resources on the new server from user devices and accounts to verify applications are accessible and respond appropriately

Implementing Server Replacements


The implementation process is the final step in server replacement. If the proper planning and testing have occurred, the transition from the legacy server to the replacement server should be fairly smooth. If something major was missed, and the replacement server cannot be fixed in the timeline window, put the old server back in place and go back to the testing phase. Planning the replacement at a time when the company is least likely to need access to its resources provides the time necessary for the replacement and final testing. Once implemented, verify all applications are running smoothly and that resources are available to staff as expected.

For more information about managing server replacements and the effects on a network, visit the Business Continuity page.