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3 minute readHow old is used EMC and NetApp storage hardware?

Reid Smith-Vaniz

I’ve heard this question a lot over the years from EMC and NetApp customers, and it’s a good one. I think it starts when people are learning that they can save quite a few dollars by going used, but then risk comes into play, and people start asking questions. The real questions behind this first question (and quite frankly, I don’t blame you for asking them) might be:

     • Can I trust that it will work?
     • How was it used in the past?
     • Will I look stupid if I buy it?

These are all valid questions, because I think when we buy something, we want to understand what type of value it will offer us—and if anything risky, painful, or threatening could jeopardize that value. It’s good ol’ human nature to look at the benefits as well as the logical and emotional consequences of making a decision.

Here’s a quick example. If I see honeycomb in a beehive, I will obviously want it, but not at the expense of getting stung—so I’ll put on a bee suit to hedge my risk. Value, risk, hedge.

Back to the question of how old used storage is. In reality, it completely depends. Some equipment is ten years old; some is three months old. It really comes down to the generation of product you are using.  

Here is some product-release date data:





 First Release Date:



 First Release Date:


 March 2014



 September 2013


 November 2010



 February 2011


 March 2006



 March 2011


 November 2010



 August 2008


 June 2008



 May 2006


 June 2014



 August 2002





 January 2008


 August 2002



 December 2002


 January 2004





Now, to address the deeper question. How risky is this equipment? That is another matter entirely, and I think it’s the real question.   

The important thing here is to make sure you buy used IT equipment from a company that knows how to test it, and backs it up with a warranty—plain and simple. Some companies have labs; others don’t. If you work with an expert who supports an end-user customer base (as opposed to a wholesale customer base), and you have access to a solid, in-house engineering and technical team that understands storage, you’ll typically enjoy a much better experience. You’ll be working with someone who understands the problems you are attempting to solve.

Used EMC or NetAPP storage is not the solution to every storage problem; it’s a tool in your toolbox.  

What other questions do you have about used IT equipment?

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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.