When you have multiple data centers, and hundreds or thousands of assets, when is the right time to choose a third-party maintenance option?

You may have heard of data center third-party maintenance, and how it helps companies save 50% or more on server, storage, and network support costs.

But the real question isn’t what you know about TPM, it’s when TPM makes sense for you and your organization.

Luckily, we’re here to break it down for you.

Here are the questions (and corresponding metrics) you should be asking when contemplating if TPM is the right fit for your environment:

1. When was your server, storage, and networking hardware released?

In the early years after a product is released, OEM maintenance is typically more affordable. Also, replacement parts for newer systems are more expensive and harder to find, so having a support contract with the OEM direct is a practical choice for any maintenance needs.

Once your data center hardware hits the three-year mark, it’s a bit of a different story:
Along with newer products being released, you might be feeling pressure from the OEM to refresh your gear with an increase in cost to keep your current systems supported.
Also, you’ll find that parts and components to replace and upgrade are abundant on the market.

When your hardware is announced as End of Life (EOL) or End of Service Life (EOSL), third-party maintenance offers you better alternatives to extend the life of your data center gear, with flexible terms and pricing that fit your timeline and budget.

Metric to Track: The Number of Assets with an Upcoming EOL or EOSL date

With this data in hand, you can properly plan and evaluate which assets might be ideal candidates for third-party support. If an asset is EOL you can get support from the OEM or third-party maintenance, but if the asset it EOSL, the only option is third-party maintenance.

2. When was the last time you needed an update?

Newer products have a greater need for frequent software and firmware updates. In general, third-party maintenance partners are not always able to provide certain updates, so it’s practical to stick with the OEM.

However, the key question to ask your team is…. When was the last time you updated the firmware or the OS?

Many times when teams dig in, the answer is never.

Metric to Track: Date of Last Software Update

Is your data center environment stable as-is?

After a few years, updates become less frequent and often are simply not required to keep your data center hardware running smoothly and efficiently.

Ask yourself the last time that you needed to update. If you’re happy with the performance of your systems, third-party maintenance is a simple solution to maintain the stability of your environment at a more affordable price.

3. When is your next big data center project?

If you’ve got plans to move your data center, move to the cloud, or refresh some key technology over the next few quarters, you’re probably looking at your budget and searching for options to save some money on big projects like these.

  • Third-party maintenance provides gap coverage, meaning you can use a short-term agreement vs. a 12-24 month commitment.
  • Third-party maintenance has no recertification fees: If your maintenance has lapsed, you won’t have to pay back coverage.
  • Multi-Vendor and Multi-SLA per contract: If you are moving a data center or moving to the cloud, TPM provides an option to consolidate all of the support under one contract.

Many Reliant customers choose third-party maintenance in these scenarios, especially if they want to save on the cost of supporting their backup, DR, or test dev environments.

Metric to Track: Number of assets to replace, refresh, or decommission over the next 24 months

TPM can help you cover these assets that will all too soon be replaced, and extend the life of your server, storage, and networking hardware. Savings can be 50% or more on hardware upgrades and support, giving you the extra funds to reinvest in people, projects, and resources that drive business value.

Managing these metrics proactively can be done in a spreadsheet or by your IT administrative team, but it’s not fun and it takes real effort.

To make it easy, Owlytica (formerly RTAM), Reliant’s Maintenance Management platform, keeps track of all of these metrics for you: EOL, EOSL, and planning dates, and with the new API, your team can import your software updates for one consolidated view.

If you’d like to learn more about Owlytica, and your options to upgrade, support, and extend the life of your hardware, connect with us at Reliant today.