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The facts behind new vs. old enterprise IT models that OEMs don’t want you to know

Buying equipment directly from Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) is expensive, but the problem doesn't end there. The Maintenance of equipment, Warranty or Post-warranty, is equally cost-inefficient. Most OEMs recommend using a piece of equipment for not more than five years. This is because OEMs are constantly working towards manufacturing technologocally advanced IT equipment. This upgrade in technology is supposed to aid innovation. However, there is a price to pay.

When does an equipment upgrade make sense ?

As a Data Center Owner, you realize that your equipment is still functional even after OEMs declare their EOL/EOSL dates. An unnecessary refresh cycle is the last thing you want when you're looking to cut down on wasteful expenses. Replace your equipment too early, and you'll be depleting your Maintenance Budget unnecessarily. Push your equipment too far beyond its lifecycle, and you will be compromising on efficiency and risk computing systems of core business operations.

OEMs take advantage of the lack of essential insights into equipment's actual shelf-life. Therefore, after five years of use, OEMs mandate replacing your equipment wit seemingly better ones. While it is true that after five years, Hardware can stop functioning optimally and show signs of slow processing, you must conduct a thorough analysis to be doubly sure whether they need to go out of service for good.

Is EOL the end ?

According to various studies conducted on Data Center equipment, your IT Hardware can continue to function optimally for at least 3 to 5 more years even after EOL/EOSL announcements by OEMs, You do not have to stick to the conventional 3 to 5 years Hardware Refresh Cycle. Putting your Hardware refresh on autopilot will bring down the ROI of equipment and result in wasteful expenditure.

With proper Maintenance Strategies for your equipment, you can maximize the lifecycle of your equipment and delay replacement for a good number of years. This step is pivotal because your equipment must meet your operational needs while maintaining an optimum ROI. Before Institutionalised Refresh Cycles eat away your IT Budget, switch to a Third-party Maintenance Provider (TPM).

Rethinking your Hardware Maintenance Strategy : The Role of Third-party Maintenance

The equipment lifecycle can be divided into phases. To get the most out of TPM Services, incorporate them with OEM Services already in place. Most Organizations are moving towards a hybrid approach. This can be done in the following manner :

General Availability (GA) : This period denotes the initial 0 to 4 years of OEM Contract. During this period, OEM introduces and sells new equipment in the market. OEM provides Warranty Support for equipment.

End of Life / End of Sale (EOL) : This period is marked by OEMs issuing EOL updates. This is the 5th year of equipment life. OEMs stop marketing or manufacturing the equipment. In this phase, TPMs are available for most Storage, Server and Network equipment Brands. You can consider making a switch to TPM in this phase. TPM engineers will audit your equipment and propose a Maintenance Strategy. You can also opt for Post-warranty OEMServices.

End of Development (EOD ) : This period denotes 6 - 12+ years of the equipment life cycle. During this period, OEMs have entirely ended the development of the equipment and OS. OEM support renewal may no longer be available in this phase. However, suppose you opted for Post-warranty Services of OEM, in such a case, you can expect Maintenance Service for a short time, which usually varies for different Brands. These changes are known to increase by at least 15% annually. This is not the case with TPMs. They offer affordable Post-warranty Services with Customised SLAs and and economical Cost Structure.

End of Service Life / End of Support (EOSL) : OEMs begin issuing the EOSL dates sometime after EOL announcements. During this period, OEMs stop or outsource equipment support. OEMs entirely terminate sales and OS updates for the equipment. They stop renewing Support Agreements, and Maintenance Support is completely cut off. TPMs continue to service your equipment. They coveralmost all Server, Storage and Network equipment Brands and provide timely availability of spare parts that the OEMs stop manufacturing.

How does Third-party Maintenance trump OEM ?

Now that we have established that your equipment's EOL is not the "end", it is essential to understand why TPM  is so effective. TPM rescues aged equipment and breathes a new life into them by providing cost-effective Post-warranty Services. By increasing the longevity of your Hardware, you can deay unnecessary hardware refreshes and maximize the Return-on-Investment (ROI) of the Data Center. The benefits of switching to a Network Third-party Hardware Maintenance Provider such as thomastech can help you in the following ways :

Save Money : TPMs do not mandate Hardware upgrades, unlike OEMs. Therefore, you can avoid buying new equipment and keep your old equipment operable for the long haul. Delay in Hardware upgrades means more money in your pocket. With TPM Services, your savings can go up to 70% compared to OEM Services. TPMs also provide cost-efficient Post-warranty Maintenance Services, which cut unnecessary expenditure.

Longer Equipment Life : OEMs require equipment replacement after announcing EOSL Dates. TPMs extend the lifecycle of your equipment by at least 3 to 7 more years beyond the EOL. During this period, they cover the complete Maintenance and Spare Parts Delivery of equipment. With the Next Business Day (NBD) delivery of spare parts, there is no significant delay in servicing the equipment.

Better Service : TPMs provide customisable SLAs. This means you will pay for the services that you genuinely require. On the other hand, OEMs present you with SLAs which cover Services you have to pay for, but don't even need. TPMs readily address various issues online and via phone and provide prompt delivery of solutions. TPMs offer critical insights into the safety of your Asset Management System and warn against a potential Data Breach by providing Remote Monitoring Services. They have both OEM and TPM certifications and are skilled in maintaining various equipment of different brands.

thomastech : Your Trusted Network Third-party Data Center Maintenance Provider

With Thomastech’s support, many managers receive up to a 70% savings compared to the OEM’s SLAs. Thomastech focuses on streamlining and simplifying the support and maintenance process. Thomastech accomplishes this by providing direct access to level three engineers, extensive internal hardware inventory, support for all your OEMs in one place and a streamlined ticketing and triage process. All of these features ensure a faster resolution, lower costs, and reduced downtime.

Hitachi VSP 5600

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The Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform 5000 series is a data storage solution for enterprises that supports block, file, and mainframe applications. It includes the Hitachi Ops Center management software suite for efficiency, data security, enhanced analytics, and centralised administration. The VSP series 5000 have Max. Number of drivers, including spares- 33 NVMe SCM, 96 NVMe and 768 SFF SSD. To accommodate up to 33 million IOPS and 69PB of data, Hitachi Accelerated Fabric can scale from twin controllers with quad CPUs to 12 controllers with 24 CPUs. It has a lightning-fast 39μs Minimum Response Time. Due to the controller architecture, scaling up the system results in a more resilient solution and provides 99.999999 per cent data availability. Additionally, the platform supports various media types combined on the same storage platform, including SAS FMD, SSD, HDD to NVMe SSD, and SCM media.

Hitachi VSP 5200

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The Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform 5000 series is a data storage solution for enterprises that supports block, file, and mainframe applications. It includes the Hitachi Ops Center management software suite for efficiency, data security, enhanced analytics, and centralised administration. The VSP series 5000 have Max. Number of drivers, including spares- 33 NVMe SCM, 96 NVMe and 768 SFF SSD. To accommodate up to 33 million IOPS and 69PB of data, Hitachi Accelerated Fabric can scale from twin controllers with quad CPUs to 12 controllers with 24 CPUs. It has a lightning-fast 39μs Minimum Response Time. Due to the controller architecture, scaling up the system results in a more resilient solution and provides 99.999999 per cent data availability. Additionally, the platform supports various media types combined on the same storage platform, including SAS FMD, SSD, HDD to NVMe SSD, and SCM media.

Hitachi DS7160

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With a maximum of 16 Intel Xeon 8276L CPUs and up to 12TB of memory, the Hitachi Advanced Server DS7160 is a powerful server. Mother Board Revision: 12001509-006 BIOS/uEFI: UEFI: BIOS_PUR043.37.14.121 (06/02/2020) CPU: 16 Intel Xeon® Platinum 8276L Processor 2.20 GHz RAM: 12 TB Ports and Bus Types: 3 USB Ports 40 PCI Express X8 8 PCI Express X16 Video Adapter: Matrox Graphics Inc. G200 SE A (PCI) Host Bus Adapter: Emulex Corporation LPe31004 FC (Quad Port) , FibreChannel LSI Logic SAS 9300-8i , Serial SCSI (SAS) Emulex Corporation LPe31002 FC (Dual-Port) , FibreChannel LSI Logic MegaRAID SAS 9361-8i , Serial SCSI (SAS) Broadcom® SAS 9300-8E Host Bus Adapter , Serial SCSI (SAS) Emulex Corporation LightPulse LPe12002 8Gb/s Fibre Channel PCI Express , FibreChannel Intel X99 Chipset (DHX99 PCH) , Serial ATA (SATA) Hard Disk Drive: 2 SanDisk SDLF1DAM-400G , Serial ATA (SATA) 6 HGST Ultrastar SS300 (HUSMM3240ASS204) , Serial SCSI (SAS) Seagate® Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDD v4 SAS, 4TB (ST4000NM0034) , Serial SCSI (SAS) Storage Area Network (SAN) Device: Hitachi Data Systems Hitachi Universal Storage Platform V

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