As technology progresses, it is imperative to keep your computer/network equipment updated. This includes both physically updating your servers, computers, routers, switches, and cabling, as well as patching these devices. It is important to physically upgrade equipment because the electronic parts within these devices usually have a lifespan.
Depending on the device, how long it has been used, and the utilization each and every day for that device are just some of the factors that can determine the lifespan. A lot of the time, when a device starts to have a physical issue, it does not need to be replaced as a whole, but a part on the device may need replaced. I’ve seen it more often than you would think, where people assume that they just need to get a new computer to solve the issue. In reality, the computer may not be the issue, and it may be another factor on the network causing the issue.
For example, if you have a switch on your network that is older and it may only be 10/100Mbps, this may be the cause for a slower connection. By simply upgrading your network switch to a 10/100/1000Mbps, or a Gigabit switch, your network connection performance may improve. Most people run Ethernet cabling one time, and forget about it for years. Cabling has improved over the years, which means your cabling may be outdated, and may not support the new speeds of today. There are different types of Ethernet cable, each of which have a physical limitation or throughput it can handle.
The second part of making sure your equipment is updated, is updating the software on these devices. Whether it be a server, computer, router, or a firewall, all of which need to be regularly updated with the newest available software. Routers and firewalls for the most part, are straight forward, in the fact that they need to have upgraded software and firmware.
The more expensive routers and firewalls, usually have more complex updates than this, and require many factors to be considered. Servers and computers on the other hand, have a plethora of updates available. They need to have updates depending on their operating system, updates for the applications installed on the system, and also updates for the hardware of the physical machine. The more applications there are on your computers, the more updates that will need to be applied. In summary, it is key to regularly replace equipment, as well as check for software updates on all of your network equipment.