Free Moore's law upgrade?
April 7, 2009 7:42 PM   Subscribe

We've had 4 high-end dedicated servers with a hosting company for almost 2 years. Since then, technology has marched on and the servers they are offering new customers are much higher spec than ours - for the same price. Is it reasonable to expect them to upgrade our servers for free to bring them into line with their current offerings?
posted by Dag Maggot to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Every few years I get a new server and cancel the old one, and move everything over. It ends up being the same price but more server. Of course, I pay a setup fee but it's not much. So by "free" do you just want to get out of the setup fee, or do you think they wouldn't even let you get a new server at the new price?

Or are you talking about buying outright aside from hosting costs? I sort of "rent" my server for a nominal fee - it's mine to do with as I please but I don't actually own the hardware.
posted by RustyBrooks at 8:14 PM on April 7, 2009

What are the setup costs for a new server? Can you migrate the data yourself? If the setup costs are low/zero, then you should basically be able to argue you can simply cancel and order the new servers, so they ought to do the switch free of charge

Do you actually still need 4 servers, might be a better question
posted by crayz at 8:14 PM on April 7, 2009

If it's been 4 years you should maybe consider 2 hefty servers and Vmware serving up guest images. Makes moving to new hardware or a new hosting provider pretty easy.
posted by iamabot at 8:38 PM on April 7, 2009

Here's what you do.You are going to use what I call a Jedi mind trick. Have your boss call the hosting company's boss up and act like he's checking up on the hosting. He should act a little not on top of things, but like he's reading off something. Have him ask pointed questions about the exact performance metrics where your machines don't add up, then ask immediately how that compares to the best servers they have on offer for each metric.

What will happen next is that they are going to offer you use of the better servers,
posted by Ironmouth at 9:31 PM on April 7, 2009 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Probably still need 4 servers- our load is inching higher, I'm hoping that they would waive any setup fees as we've been good customers for so long.
posted by Dag Maggot at 10:07 PM on April 7, 2009

If you put it to them as a choice between a free upgrade and moving to their competitor offering better specs at the same price, I bet you'll get a free upgrade.
posted by fatbird at 11:09 PM on April 7, 2009 [1 favorite]

Talk to your contacts there. Tell them you're shopping around and that even their existing offerings are better than the older machines you're currently paying for. Just be straight with them--this happens a lot.

They can make you an offer, or they'll say "we don't do that" but the worst that happens is you ask. You won't get anywhere if you don't ask, and you'll probably find they'll be pretty amiable.
posted by disillusioned at 2:31 AM on April 8, 2009

Go for it, but they owe you nothing. They don't get those new chips for free.

Besides, Apple doesn't send me a new Mac every time Intel bumps the chip.
posted by justcorbly at 5:41 AM on April 8, 2009

You can ask and you certainly can use the threat of moving your stuff elsewhere but unless your contract with them says that you will get upgrades it is likely you aren't entitled to them.
posted by mmascolino at 5:56 AM on April 8, 2009

A big part of their business model is extending the life of old slow hardware by having their customers not migrate away from it. If you leave those servers then those servers will be worthless, so they're not in a hurry to help you move. Also, they're hoping the hassle of migrating an app means you won't ask for a new server. But you're the customer. Tell them you'll move to a different company if they don't give you a good upgrade. They won't be happy about it, but they'll do it.
posted by Nelson at 8:03 AM on April 8, 2009

Pffft, they probably depreciate the server hardware to (or close to) $zero in a few years. Or they migrate them over to the test lab. Something. It shouldn't come as a surpise to them if you ask, though they may be a little sad that their money tree got pruned a bit. :7)
posted by wenestvedt at 8:27 AM on April 8, 2009

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