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5 minute readThe Secret Your EMC Support Provider Isn’t Telling You

What is the lifespan of your EMC hardware? Depending on who your support provider is, the answer may vary. You may be under the impression that the lifespan of your EMC equipment is three to five years.

And, you may have been following the OEM recommended upgrade patterns for years. But, as IT budgets get tighter, you may question your belief of whether the three to five year lifespan is how long your hardware can deliver value.

Why You Should Refresh – According to EMC

So, when is the best time to replace your hardware? The short answer? It depends. There isn’t a hard and fast rule of when your equipment has reached the end of its useful lifespan. EMC will suggest some of the following reasons about why you should follow their recommended hardware lifespan:

The Need for New Features

Some organizations may need the latest and greatest features and the best performance. So, they may need to upgrade to the newest generation of equipment on a schedule closer to what EMC will suggest.

Yet, if the systems within your storage environment aren’t driven by performance alone, putting EMC suggested renewal timeframes on that equipment can cause an unnecessary (and costly) upgrade.

Energy Considerations

Energy and space efficiency will affect the total cost of ownership (TCO) of your EMC storage equipment. It may make sense for you to put in a system with a lower overhead cost per TB than the current array within your environment.

But, you must consider both energy savings as well as the capital investment. You may not see the beneficial TCO impacts with a new system that EMC may be promising you. Just make sure to weigh all your options.

The Cost of Support

Supporting aging equipment through EMC is expensive. Around the third year of your EMC support contract, you will see a huge spike in your support costs. EMC designs this spike to drive you to a hardware refresh.

But, third-party EMC support providers can give you the highest level of support at a fraction of the EMC cost. So, the support price EMC gives you isn’t a true reflection of the cost to support your existing EMC equipment.

Why You Don’t Have to Refresh

Now that we’ve covered why EMC says you should refresh every three to five years, we can talk about why you don’t have to refresh on EMC’s timeline.

Increase Your ROI

Some applications, especially those that are on the cutting-edge, will need to run on the latest and greatest. So, getting even three years out of your EMC hardware to run them may be stretching it. For many other purposes, having a system run over five years can just reach the tip of the iceberg.

The longer you can keep your existing systems running, the more return you can see on that investment – and the longer you can put off making a capital expenditure on new equipment. The trick is to finding the right systems that you can keep running without refreshing.

Archival systems, in particular, are great candidates for extending their lifespan past EMC’s three to five years. Since the data is rarely accessed, you don’t need to have the latest and greatest to get the job done.

No Learning Curve

By the time your hardware is three to five years old, your IT department knows your data center equipment well. So, there isn’t a bunch of time devoted to additional training on that equipment’s hardware, software, or firmware.

When you get something new, you have to spend the time and resources on training as well as troubleshooting that new equipment. By keeping the existing equipment longer, you save your staff’s time and resources for when they’re needed.

When to Refresh Your Hardware

So, when is the right time to refresh? Again, it all depends. So, instead of just going by EMC’s playbook, you can refresh your systems on a case-by-case basis. That way you upgrade when you need to, not when EMC says you should.

If your system is working well and you don’t need the new features for cutting-edge applications, you can consider third-party support for your EMC hardware from Reliant Technology. With comprehensive and flexible SLAs, expert engineers, and a domestic-based helpdesk, you can get the same level (or better!) of coverage as you would from EMC, but at a fraction of the cost.

And, as the World’s #1 Reseller of Certified Pre-Owned Storage Hardware & Support, you can rest assured that the support you get is top of the line. To learn more about EMC third-party support from Reliant Technology, reach out to one of our storage and support specialists at 1.877.227.0828 or fill out a maintenance pricing request.


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Todd Bennett

by Todd Bennett

Todd leads a team of expert IT consultants, helping customers around the world with their data center hardware, maintenance, and support needs, providing uptime, capacity, and savings options to enable IT and Procurement teams to do more with their existing budgets. Todd has been in enterprise technology for more than 30 years.

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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.