Do you like creating an IT budget?  Or do you hate it?

Have you ever left off a critical component, system or support contract and had to go back to your IT finance committee, boss, or worse – the CFO to ask for more money?  It’s not fun.

To make sure you have all of your bases covered, here is a downloadable checklist of data center hardware, upgrades, and support to review – along with scenarios to plan for so you don’t get caught off guard.

As you map out your budget, use this guide below to make sure nothing is left unaccounted:

New Systems, Components, and Upgrades

Old Hardware

There are a lot of reasons for needing to purchase a new system, parts, or upgrades. If your equipment is coming off support, becoming obsolete, or just not performing as well as intended, you’ll want to ensure you have ample budget to make those purchases.

Servers

Will you need to make room to purchase new servers, such as HP, Dell, and Supermicro? What about upgrades?

Servers perform better when you add more memory and faster CPUs to the systems, and when memory was cheap that was no big deal.  Now x86 servers can hold 512GB of memory or more along with SSD or flash drives. These upgrades are very, very pricey and you want to make sure you have a line item on your budget for upgrades to your existing servers.

Storage

Check if you are adding or replacing storage from EMC, Dell, HPE, NetApp, IBM, Pure, Nimble or a range of others. These are large IT budget line items that need to be accounted for.

IT budgeting for storage means making sure you cover not only primary and backup storage, but also different types of storage (NAS, SAN, and Multi-protocol) that may exist in different data centers, remote sites, or major offices.   

The most common storage upgrade is adding storage capacity, typically called disk shelves, disk trays or trays of disk.  Today most systems have SSD, NL-SAS or SAS drives added to existing EMC, NetApp or HPE storage systems.  

The key is making sure you have enough usable storage, and then enough backup capacity to backup the storage you are adding.

Networking

Are you planning to add or make changes to your Cisco, Huwaii, Juniper, Brocade, or other networking gear? From putting in networking gear in new offices, warehouses, or stores – to replacing aging Cisco catalyst equipment or doing a network refresh – it can add up fast.   

Some of the most expensive projects are upgrading the core network infrastructure, and rolling out a large enterprise refresh to support a major initiative, such as 5G. 

Typically, networking devices run out of ports or need additional functionality, such as security or compression. Even simple networking components such as transceivers can become costly.

Customer Care

Maintenance and Support

Checklist paper and pen.

When it comes to data center maintenance, chances are that you’re dealing with multiple support vendors, and that can be a lot to track.

How are you staying up to date on your support renewals? Do you have service agreements in place with the OEM, a VAR, or a Third-Party Maintenance provider? You might have all three. 

Hardware

It’s easy to forget about that old IBM pSeries or Power server sitting in the corner of the data center, so it’s important to go through your entire inventory, and make sure you don’t miss any technology that needs coverage.

Whether you are buying new support, or renewing support on EOL or EoSL equipment, make sure to track your maintenance and support agreements across all of your data center assets.

Software Licensing 

Are you keeping accurate records of your software licensing and usage?

As you add cores and CPUs, often your OS licensing (and application licensing) can change.  Make sure you account for the change in licensing fees and support.

As hyper-converged infrastructures are a mainstay for modern data centers, it’s more important than ever to make sure your organization is compliant with the terms of your software license agreements to avoid an unplanned software audit or additional licensing fees. 

Budgeting for Data Center Scenarios

Be economical sign

Are you completing any merger and acquisitions this year?  What about improving your disaster recovery RTO and RPO requirements? Do you have equipment coming off of its original OEM warranty? 

Scenarios such as these can throw off any IT budget, tightening the availability for regular maintenance and upkeep of your data center environment. 

So, what are your options to save money?

      1.Extend the Life of your Data Center Equipment

Renewing support for equipment purchased 3 years ago can easily surpass $1MM. A third-party maintenance partner can extend the life of your data center with support that will save you up to 50% or more compared to the OEM or local VAR.

      2. Save on the Secondary Market

Have you explored what components or parts can be purchased on the secondary market? As experts for over 13 years in the secondary market, Reliant consultants and engineers can source new-in-box and refurbished parts that meet your needs, and fast-ship them to any location.

     3. Consolidate Multiple Vendors with a Third-Party Maintenance Plan

Rather than juggling multiple OEM contracts, a third-party maintenance plan allows you to consolidate multiple vendors for your storage, server and networking hardware. You can consolidate and co-term you support, with multiple service levels all under one contract.

    4. Short-term Support Coverage

Do you need short-term agreements to get coverage for just the amount of time you need it? Third-party partners like Reliant offer 1-36 support agreements, giving you the flexibility that you won’t see offered by the OEM.

Free up your IT budget with cost-saving third-party options. Connect with a Reliant expert to find out how today.