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When is a computer too old? The Cloud may be changing how we think about this.

When is a computer too old? This question is getting harder and harder to answer. Traditional PC lifecycle thinking says that a PC is efficient to use up to 4 years old, and no longer cost effective to use beyond 5 years old. This is because the cost of maintaining the system is greater than the value of this old PC or laptop.

If you are running your applications from the PC and storing any data on the hard drive, then I completely agree with the statement above. However, if you are leveraging cloud computing or Remote Desktop Services (sometimes referred to Terminal Services or RDP) then you might be able to get a little more out of that old hardware. This is because the old PC or laptop is simply a conduit to another system, and that remote system is where your applications and data reside. In this case the remote servers are doing all the work, and your old “hunk of junk” is simply acting like a dumb terminal while still allowing you to use thumb drives and local printers (security permitting of course). Who cares if your PC gets infected with a virus or malware? If all of your data and applications are on a cloud based virtual desktop, there is no need to worry. Just connect to your virtual desktop using a different computer, and you’re up and running again. For all of you small business entrepreneurs, this is another example how cloud computing can be even more cost effective to your bottom line and ROV (return on value).

About the author

Robert Borges

About Robert...

I have been in the IT industry since 1993 focusing mainly in networking. Though I got an early start as an amateur computer enthusiast, and wrote my first database app at age 12, I started my professional career working in the MIS department of one of the largest liquor distributors in the northeast. I started out there as a systems operator on the company’s two mainframe systems. From there I moved into PC support, and help design and implement the company’s first client-server network… This was back in the days of Win NT 3.51. I also worked on my first migration to NT 4.0 back then.

From there I went on to work with Novell 3.x and 4.x along with Windows domains and active directory environments. Working my way up from technician, to specialist, to administrator, and eventually all the way up to Sr. Engineer. I spent many years working for consulting firms, 9 of which I owned and operated my own firm.
Over the years, I have worked with (at an expert level) various versions of: Windows client and server operating systems (including Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2);various virtualization technologies (Hyper-V, Virtual Server, Virtual PC, VMware, etc…); MS-SQL server 6.5- 2008 R2; Exchange 4-2010, and much more.

I am now Director of Information Systems at Bay State Integrated Technology focusing on cloud computing and IT service, with expertise in: IT Infrastructure & Architecture, IT Security, and Cloud Computing platforms & technologies (SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS).

I am in a constant state of learning about new products, and new versions of products. Many of which we end up implementing in lab environments and sometimes for our clients. I have a pretty broad range of expertise and experience. It is my goal to share some of this experience on this blog to help enrich the IT community.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.robertborges.us/2012/02/cloud-computing/when-is-a-computer-too-old-the-cloud-may-be-changing-how-we-think-about-this/

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