9 minute read5 Tips to Control EMC Support Costs Before Your Renewal

TPM vs EMC Support - Which is better?

Have you ever been caught off guard by a support renewal? Ever miss a critical system or storage array in your asset list? 

We need accurate records. Especially when it comes to managing our EMC support renewals. When we can’t rely on our data, we can’t make proactive decisions to negotiate better pricing and we risk our reputation when we have to ask for more budget. But we won’t have to worry about that anymore. 

This article explains a few steps to help prepare for the next EMC support contract cycle.

TAKING PROACTIVE STEPS STOPS SURPRISES IN THEIR TRACKS.

We never want to lose credibility with the team. However, being stuck in reactionary mode won’t help our case. Instead of losing our shirt to unnecessarily recurring renewal rates, we could take the more methodical approach and position ourselves as a proactive leader with a cost-saving plan.

Being reactive to our support needs never ends well. Conversely, planning for EMC support renewals ensures we have the necessary data to make better decisions. What kinds of things should we be considering?

  • Length of support necessary contract(s).
  • Cost increases on maintenance agreements.
  • Gaps in uptime-related support coverage.
  • Products soon to reach EOL & EOSL.
  • Any replacements or upgrades needed.

With factual data at our fingertips, we can build trust with our peers and look like a rockstar because we’ll know what we need when we need it, and how much it will cost. We’ll also determine how much EMC support is required and which assets can roll to a more cost-effective Third Party Provider (TPM), all while ensuring the expected uptime levels are covered.

Do these five things to get control of EMC support renewals in the coming 12 months.

  • Create a list of all storage systems.

Obvious right? If we haven’t already done so, we can use a spreadsheet to list all our storage systems and their relevant data. We need to be meticulous and gather all the information for every unit. 

  • Manufacturer name. (NetApp, EMC, HDS, HPE, Dell EMC, etc)
  • Model Number: EMC Unity 480, EMC VNX 5500, EMC Data Domain dd6800
  • Configuration
  • Serial Number (s), (NetApp systems have two, one for each controller)
  • Support End Date

Centralizing the details of our storage systems like this will give us clarity over the big picture. We can make a mental checklist of EMC storage types in our primary data center(s) or remote sites: SAN, NAS, Backup Archive, and SAN switches. Here is an example of a few EMC families:

  • EMC VNX
  • EMC VNXe
  • EMC Data Domain
  • EMC VMAX
  • EMC Celerra
  • EMC Centerra
  • EMC Clariion
  • EMC Unity
  • EMC Isilon
  • EMC Avamar
  • EMC Atmos
  • EMC Viper
  • EMC Connectrix (Brocade, Cisco Products)

We don’t need to reinvent the wheel! Here’s a free spreadsheet Reliant Technology created to make the process of collecting and maintaining critical asset data and EMC support levels easier.


Reliant's IT Asset Maintenance Optimization Platform

  • Validate the data.

EMC support contracts are expensive. Why should we waste any money on unnecessary renewal costs when we could spend it on other things our team needs? We also need to take the time to determine if the information we have is valid. Sure it’s tedious and time-consuming to double-check every asset, but that’s how we prevent expensive surprises. 

Finding overlooked hardware can be challenging because of how much there may be to manage. We should make it a routine to get acquainted with our hardware landscape and pay attention to all the EMC families in our stack.

  • Identify all products reaching End of Support and EOSL.

Knowledge is power, especially when negotiating EMC support renewals. Determining what products are nearing “End of Service Life” (EOSL) and “End of Support” (EOS) is key to having correct information, which in turn ensures we will have adequate coverage moving forward.

End of Service Life (EOSL) means EMC will no longer provide hardware support for the product. In contrast, End of Support (EOS) is typically the date of our next support renewal- dependent on the serial number.

We can contact our support vendor for an updated list of service end dates to know which products are expiring and when or we could obtain the same information by entering the serial number in their web portal.

Once we have all of the data entered into a centralized system, we can access, visualize, and understand it better. Not to mention, help our team set up for success. If you are interested in a tool designed to help centralize all things contract management, we highly recommend Owlytica.

  • Gather estimates for EMC support renewal costs.

Next, we need to know what our cost data is to help with budget forecasting. Detailed EMC estimates on support renewals and the costs of any additional purchases for products reaching End of Life (EOL) are critical for negotiating the right level of service for the right assets. Using the information we’ve collected will help us get an accurate estimate of our EMC and NetApp support costs and options.

Talk to the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM).

Most hardware is supported by the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and can be resold through a local Value-added Reseller (VAR). Therefore, it makes sense to speak with them first to get as accurate an estimate as possible. We can contact our OEM to see how much a renewal will cost. There are many benefits to getting this information six months or more in advance of the renewal dates.

This proactive step prevents rushed decisions due to time constraints or because support on critical components is near expiration. OEM’s are known to strong-arm a renewal or upgrade we may not need because we waited till the last minute and most likely have to guess what to do on the fly. Having advanced notice of all the estimates will give us more negotiating leverage. 

TALK TO A THIRD-PARTY MAINTENANCE (TPM) PROVIDER.

Knowing all our options for Data Center support and maintenance will help us make the right choices. Thankfully, providers like Reliant offer solid EMC coverage for about half the cost of going direct with EMC.

Third-party maintenance is a cost-effective alternative to OEM support. They promise the same uptime with more flexible terms and better rates for the same (or better) support level. Comparing a TPM estimate to our EMC support renewal quote will highlight many alternatives we may not have seen before. 

Contact Reliant to get an accurate estimate of TPM support costs and help identify the best savings opportunities.

  • Create a plan.

Accurately budgeting and purchasing our EMC support renewals requires a clear and precise plan to move forward. Without it, it will become more challenging to keep our teams on track for success.

We can stay in control by considering all our options. Is it a matter of adding extended support or replacing hardware altogether? There are pros and cons for both.

Replacing systems with newer hardware empowers us with the latest features and technology. While these are appealing reasons to spend money on hardware replacements, we shouldn’t lose sight of the overall cost. Alternatively, we can extend the life of current hardware, even if EOL or no longer supported by the OEM,  through a third-party maintenance provider will retain all the support and uptime levels we need.

From a cost perspective, we could easily say that using existing systems is a no-brainer. However, each situation is different, and we need to consider all the factors. 

WANT TO LEARN MORE?

Reliant Technology is your full-service resource for data center products, support, and third-party maintenance. We can help optimize your storage needs and even help you find hidden money in your data center maintenance budget to offset some of the costs. Want to learn more?

Reliant's IT Asset Maintenance Optimization Platform