I was browsing the forums over at webhostingtalk.com and I found this interesting post by someone who was complaining that most dedicated server providers use “boring hardware” from manufacturers like Dell. The other posters in the thread rightly shut him down, but it’s interesting that he didn’t like the fact that vendors like Dell use older hardware. Actually, I think he’s got it all wrong; I wouldn’ t trust a vendor that tried to sell me new technology in a dedicated server.
Now, I’m not a Luddite or distrustful of new technology in any way. I love to buy sweet gadgets all the time and if I could justify the costs of building a monster rig with solid state hard drives and liquid cooling I would. It remains true, however, that all of this is new technology. Not only will it be more expensive because of its recent entrance into the market, it’s also less tested. It’s true that less testing doesn’t make it inherently unstable; it’s always possible that each new technology introduced is going to be the fastest and most stable technology ever devised. It’s also possible that there are still some bugs and kinks to be worked out, and in fact that’s the outcome I’d bet my money on.
When you’re looking for a dedicated server, you don’t want new, shiny things that have only been around for one or two years. You want dependable software and hardware that’s been around the block once or twice and has had enough time on the market both to work out its bugs and to have tons of system engineers who know how to fix or replace it when it breaks. Call me paranoid, but I’m willing to trade new hardware for proven stability; I’d rather not get called at 2 AM when something breaks and have only a faintly fuzzy idea concerning how to fix it.
Early adoption isn’t always a bad thing (after all, someone needs to jump in and find the bugs), and if you don’t require your dedicated server to have 99.9% uptime at lower costs then feel free to experiment with new and emerging technologies. If you do, however, be sensible and stick to the tried and true!