CloudflareCloudflare has discovered a method to run its server infrastructure for five years instead of four, joining the ranks of hyperscalers that have postponed replacing their equipment. Both Alphabet and AWS have made similar moves to extend the life of their gear, anticipating billion-dollar benefits from lower depreciation expenses. Cloudflare anticipates far less of an impact, roughly $20 million

In Cloudflare’s Q4 earnings call, Cloudflare CFO Thomas Seifert announced to investors, “Following a review of our infrastructure’s evolving composition, we’ve adjusted the estimated useful lifespans of our service and network equipment. Starting in fiscal year 2024, these assets are now expected to last from four to five years. This decision, made in January 2024, reflects the impact of ongoing advancements in hardware technology and our data center design enhancements, which have significantly improved our operational efficiency.”

EOL Servers and Network Equipment

A server’s or network appliance’s End of Life (EOL) may signify the start of a host of possible issues, ranging from increased security risks to rising operating costs. Server performance and reliability will probably decline with age as internal components deteriorate due to use and environmental conditions. These servers may become slow because they are unable to meet the needs of modern applications due to this deterioration. Additionally, there is an increased likelihood of failures, which can result in more frequent IT outages. Such downtime may have financial ramifications in addition to decreasing productivity.

Then again, replacing equipment within 4 years is perhaps very quick. We’ve lately seen more parties declare that their equipment can endure far beyond three to five years, apart from a few hyperscalers that recently extended the lifetime of their equipment. An excellent example is the European company Scaleway, which offers dedicated servers, cloud and PaaS. It has shared its plans to combine repair and reuse to extend the life of its servers to even ten years.

So, servers may endure a lot longer than most people realize, which was also confirmed by Park Place Technologies, a global leader in data center and networking maintenance and optimization. Users often believe that the OEM determines the server refresh period, which usually occurs when the server is three to five years old. Based on research conducted by an analysis organization, servers are expected to last between 7 and 10 years, stated Park Place Technologies. Additionally, it would be recommended that rack servers have a lifespan of around six years while integrated systems have a 10-year lifetime.

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