So, you may have a few to a couple thousand servers that need maintenance and software updates? And, you have a rigid OEM warranty that doesn’t address your service needs? Let’s talk about ways you can eliminate your frustration. There’s the smart way, and there are misguided ways!
The Smart Way
The smart way is to hire a 3rd party support service provider to assist with your SPECIFIC needs for half the cost of OEM coverage. 3rd party service providers, like Abtech, can manage entire operating systems that include hardware and software problems as well as firmware and system updates. Ultimately, YOU will get to design the service you need for your server set up environment.
There are two misguided ways that may seem like reliable solutions in the beginning, but they will actually continue to blow your fuse.
1st Way: You decide to purchase a few spares in case a few servers decide to call it quits. This may sound like a very attractive and cheaper deal until you delve deeper into the technical logistics. First, you’d have to make sure you purchase the SAME server with the SAME configuration. Second, you’d have to make sure you didn’t make any changes to environment over the time the old server was operating. Third, you would need to make sure that you were updating the spare with the same software and firmware patch levels as the production servers. Fourth, most servers and all SANS have batteries that require regular replacement. If spare systems are left powered off until needed, it’s likely the batteries will have discharged and would need to be replaced before the spares could be used.
What’s the conclusion?
You will create an unnecessary burden on a system administrator. They would have to remember to patch the spares while keeping their and YOUR fingers crossed that the firmware versions would match under extreme pressure to get the spare up and running in a sufficient amount of time. Also, you may need to purchase additional parts for the spares. Do you have easy access to these parts? Can you get and install the parts fast enough while you’re under stress and pressure? Can you anticipate further potential problems to get the spare servers operating with the most updated data and speed? These are important questions to ask yourself before you embark on solving critical server hardware responsibilities for your company.
You decide to purchase and stay with the OEM (like HP) Warranty. You have their equipment, so why not stay consistent and keep them operating your system? Wouldn’t they know your system best? This may also sound like a viable solution until you get into the thick of the details! OEMs have been infamous for overbilling, overcharging, and delaying your warranty services.
Just recently, we received a call from our client who was determined to do away with all their HP equipment because they had taken 3 months to reconcile their annual support renewals. And even after those 3 months, they found out that they were still paying for an inactive system in their production. Another customer discovered that an OEM charged them twice for a service that was already guaranteed with their warranty service. And the big, grand finale, OEMs charge a “return to service” penalty equal to the full support cost during the “off support” period.
What’s the bottom line?
OEMs will not guarantee the proper level of support for your system. Therefore, you are at risk. OEMs have the power to charge whatever ridiculous support charges they want so long as you purchase them! They don’t allow you to design the coverage of your hardware maintenance and software needs with the budget you have at your disposal.
All in all, it is best to build a true support partnership with a 3rd party support provider. You will be able to uniquely create a coverage plan that protects your business!
Make the smart decision and say goodbye to OEM frustration today!