9 minute readEMC Powerlink: What EOL, EOSL & EOS Mean for You

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At some point you have probably come across the acronyms EOL, EOSL, and EOS. These acronyms concerning the lifecycle of server, network, and storage hardware products are all related, but each of these acronyms has distinct importance, discussed in this article.

What does EOL, EOSL, and EOS Stand for and What is the Significance of each?

EOL

EOL refers to “end of life.” EOL is sometimes also called “end of sale” (EOS) or “end of availability” (EOA).

Specifically, EOL refers to the end of the useful life of a product being sold by a hardware manufacturer, also known as an OEM (original equipment manufacturer). EOL does not indicate when a product will or is expected to fail. Rather, EOL is determined by the hardware manufacturer.

Hardware products generally reach their end of life within 3 years. Often, the hardware manufacturer will send out notices to announce that a product is reaching its end of life, and that a new generation of replacement products is available to be purchased.

When a hardware product reaches its end of life, the manufacturer is no longer actively marketing or otherwise trying to sell the product. Generally speaking, a hardware product reaches its end of life when the manufacturer releases a new generation of the product or when the manufacturer has replaced the product with a new offering.

Hardware products that have reached their end of life might not be available for purchase at all once the manufacturer runs out of its existing stock. As a consequence of this, the product will no longer be able to be replaced with an identical product, unless the product can be purchased new or used from a third-party vendor.

It is important to note that hardware products reach their end of life before reaching their end of service life. The significance of this is that the manufacturer is still providing support for the product and the product can still be covered by the warranty provided by the manufacturer.

EOSL

EOSL refers to “end of service life”, or “end of support life,” or sometimes simply “end of support” (EOS). Like EOL, EOSL is determined by the hardware manufacturer and does not suggest when a product is no longer expected to work.

When a hardware product reaches the EOSL determined by the manufacturer, the manufacturer will no longer be providing first-party fixes and updates. Also, the manufacturer oftentimes will no longer be selling support contracts for the product.

Typically, replacement parts for a product that has reached its EOSL will still be available from the manufacturer of the product until the existing inventory is depleted.

Any support contracts purchased from the manufacturer will continue to remain in effect, but might not be able to be renewed. If a support contract is able to be renewed, it might be at a significantly increased price.

What Options are Available to a Company once its Hardware Product has Reached its EOL or EOSL?

When a hardware product used by a company reaches its EOSL, the company has several support options for the product to choose from.

One option is to simply continue using the product without manufacturer or third-party support. While this option might cut costs in the short-term, in the long-term, it can prove to be a rather expensive choice. Continuing to use a product without support can result in experiencing significant downtime or product failure.

Another option is to purchase an extended product support contract from the original manufacturer. For many companies, this is the default support option, without other support options being considered. However, not all manufacturers offer extended support for products that have reached their EOSL.

Manufacturers that do offer extended support contracts typically offer the support contracts at exorbitantly high prices, far exceeding the bounds specified in the IT budget of most companies. Often, there is no flexibility in the length these support contracts are offered in. In many cases, the extended product support contracts must be purchased for durations of 6 months or more, and cannot be extended beyond 2 years after the product has reached its EOSL.

Another option is to purchase entirely new hardware, also known as refreshing the hardware. Considering the cost of purchasing new licenses, and the cost of purchasing new product support contracts, this option is prohibitively expensive for many companies.

Finally, there is the option to purchase a product support contract from a third-party maintenance provider, also known as a TPM. If the original manufacturer of a product that has reached its EOSL does not offer extended support contracts, this might be the only available support option.

What are the Benefits of using a Third-Party Maintenance Provider?

Flexible Contracts

Third Party Maintenance support contracts are more flexible and more affordable than OEM contracts. TPM providers do not force you into unnecessary support that you don’t need and long term contracts.

Savings on Hardware

Third-party maintenance providers generally offer much more affordable product support contracts than those offered by the original manufacturer of the product. Resulting in a cost savings of 50% to 80% over the cost of a support contract offered by an original manufacturer.

Stay under budget and drive savings without sacrificing quality of data center maintenance support. In fact, the service-level agreement, or SLA, is often greater with third-party maintenance providers than with the original manufacturers.

Reliable Support

Third-party maintenance providers have the same ability to provide support for EOSL products as the original manufacturer of the products.

Third-party maintenance provides a rapid service that most OEMs can’t match. Original manufacturers might take days to deliver a replacement part, third-party maintenance providers utilize on-site spare parts kits, which can reduce downtime to mere minutes.  

Extend the Life of Your Hardware

Even long after a product has reached its EOSL, original parts generally are still obtainable by third-party maintenance providers.

Unlike OEMs, third-party maintenance providers are familiar with a wide range of products. OEMs are familiar only with their own product offerings. Since TPM providers are familiar with a variety of products, they are able to act as a single-point contact for support, eliminating the need to enter into support contracts with different manufacturers.

Why You Need a strong IT budget

Why use Reliant Technology as your Third-Party Maintenance Provider?

The experts at Reliant Technology will advise you on whether or not you should consider refreshing your products that have reached their EOSL, or if a support contract for your products is appropriate. In many cases, a Reliant Technology support contract is more than suitable to extend the life of your hardware and increase your return on investment.

Unlike many original manufacturers, Reliant Technology has the ability to tailor for you a support contract that services only the specific needs of your company, and fits within your IT budget. Reliant Technology understands that not all companies require 24x7x365 support and that not all companies need to be able to replace parts within hours. Reliant Technology believes that you should not be paying for services that you will not take advantage of.

Reliant Technology offers support contracts that are much more affordable than original manufacturer support contracts or refreshing your hardware.

Reliant Technology experts are familiar with a wide range of different server, network, and storage hardware products, and can be your single contact point for all of the product support needs of your company.

Contact Reliant Technology

If you would like to learn if your product has reached its EOSL, or if you would like to start planning for when your product eventually does reach its EOSL, contact a Reliant Technology specialist today.

Unlike original manufacturers, Reliant Technology will not try to sell you the latest generation of server, network, and storage products, when a support contract is all that is required.

Reliant Technology specialists take the time to understand the specific needs of your company and will work with you to develop a support contract that fits within your IT budget, without cutting corners. Reliant Technology support contracts include only the services that benefit you, saving your money.

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