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4 minute readThe CIO’s Guide to the Used IT Hardware Market: Part 1

Here at Reliant, we pride ourselves on taking a customer-centered approach. Rather than just supplying you with parts and tech specs, we take a more personal technique by giving you a number of options and helping you create an action plan to achieve your specific goals. To help you do that, I wanted to give a few tips on how to navigate your options in the secondary IT hardware market.

Before we go any further, I want to tell you I am biased. As founder and CEO of Reliant, I am always watching the bottom line. If you’re anything like me, or any other C-Suite executive, you know that almost everyone has limited resources when it comes to budgeting. So I’m always looking for ways to stretch a dollar and get the most bang for the buck, and I wanted to share a secret.

Think about certified pre-owned IT hardware like you think about other aspects of your life. A great deal of us drive used cars. We know the second we drive it off the lot, the car loses 10-20% of its value. I love used cars, because a 2 year old car is often 50% of the prices of new model. That’s money I can use to invest in other parts of my life. In business we have to make these choices too. There is always an opportunity to look for a bargain, and for CIOs I’d encourage you to explore the secondary market.

The secondary market includes current generation as well as previous generation product. If you talk to a sales rep or browse websites, you’ll hear terms like “new in box”, used, refurb, refurbished and off-lease to name a few. It’s confusing and at times overwhelming.

To simplify this process a bit, here are a few things you need to know and couple of different approaches to exploring the secondary market for deals that are relative to your needs.

1. Every manufacturer has a different position when it comes to used equipment.

First you need to know that EMC, NetApp, Cisco, HP, Dell and other OEMs will not get paid when you buy equipment off of the secondary market. So if you ask your EMC sales rep for permission to buy used equipment, you can expect resistance, he will not be getting paid.

With that said, some manufacturers will recertify used products for hardware support, but it may not be worth the cost.

2. 3rd party support can help you protect your hardware.

There are several companies which can protect your purchase with an extended warranty or onsite support agreement. There are good ones and bad ones out there, and the difference is cost and service typically related to their people, process and product. Look for vendors with lots of (repeat) customers.

3. Some product lines you’ll want the entire system and others you’ll only want the parts.

Occasionally there are projects where your IT team can buy the chassis new and a portion of the components used, new in box, or new return. This can lower the overall purchase price of a new system considerably, which keeps the warranty intact.

Want to know more?

These are just some of the things you need to know when exploring the secondary IT hardware market. Stay tuned for part 2 of this series. If you want some help with understanding how certified pre-owned storage hardware and support can help your IT infrastructure, learn more about DiscoverIQ – a free analysis that assists you with overcoming your data center pain points, or reach out to one of our dedicated reps if you need help with a current project.


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Reid Smith-Vaniz

by Reid Smith-Vaniz

Reid is the founder and CEO of Reliant Technology and for 14 years has pursued his mission to remove the pain associated with maintaining IT infrastructure. Reid writes on common challenges related to maintaining, servicing, tracking, budgeting, and upgrading technology.

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About Reliant Technology

As Data Center and storage experts, Reliant Technology is available to provide consultations and solutions to your server backup needs. Our experienced engineers and IT specialists are ready to help you determine the best option for your Data Center. If you have a topic you would like to see discussed, or if you would like to submit an article for possible publication, please, get in touch with us.