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Why TPM is the future for your datacenter infrastructure

Third Party Maintenance, or TPM for short, is a term we often use, but what does it mean exactly? In this blog, we explain what TPM is and why it is crucial for your datacenter infrastructure. 

Datacenter infrastructures

Datacenter infrastructures are ever-changing and continuously growing more and more complex. The expectations on your IT team grow at a compounding rate, while your budget seems to increase by mere percentage points each year. More often than not, companies get lost in identifying which purpose each component of their IT infrastructure serves. What makes it even more challenging, is the fact that with the developments over the last few years, different types of data centers have emerged. If you want to know more about datacenters and datacenter infrastructure, check out our other blog regarding this topic.

We see that a lot of companies try to manage multiple vendors with a separate server and storage team, networking and applications. The challenge of having multiple vendors is having all maintenance under a single scope, while also taking in account budgeting pressures. This is where a Third Party Maintenance service comes into play.

TPM

Third Party Maintenance (TPM) enables you to extend the lifecycle of your IT equipment, thus minimizing support and maintenance costs. With the help of TPM, you can save costs on your IT infrastructure. 

We outlined three ways in which TPM can help you save up to 70% on your IT infrastructure:

1. Extending the lifecycle of your IT equipment

Usually, OEMs develop new hardware to try and make consumers buy their latest products. When launching these new products, they often stop supporting older versions, even when their lifespan is usually far beyond the EOL/EOSL date dictated by the OEM. With TPM you can extend the support after the OEM warranty has expired. Usually, the support is provided at a cost of 30-70% of the OEM maintenance for the same equipment. Not only do you get to extend the support of your current hardware, you also get to benefit from lower support costs. Besides that, TPM also comes with the following benefits: 

Being able to make upgrade decisions on your own timeline: With Third Party Maintenance you get to make upgrade decisions on your own timeline, rather than the timeline established by the OEM. Some OEMs will provide support after the EOS data for another year of two, but most of the time these support costs are very high. This makes it easier to just upgrade your hardware. This also enables you to keep using well performing equipment that you’re familiar with.

Sustainability: Extending the support on your hardware also contributes to your own corporate social responsibility. Third Party Maintenance prevents IT equipment from being thrown out after the OEM date, thus reducing e-waste.

2. Multi-vendor maintenance support

Traditionally, OEMs have favored taking on mixed support contracts when their IT infrastructure largely consists of equipment, this means that IT organisations are likely to have multiple OEM agreements, with each of these obtaining overhead. In this case, a single provider would be a much better fit. A single TPM-provider helps to reduce this extra overhead by assembling data center hardware and services under one contract, called multi-vendor maintenance. Multi-vendor maintenance is especially helpful when dealing with severe budget pressures and cutbacks in capital expenditures. Multi-vendor maintenance can limit service expenditures while preserving traditional uptime and performance. With RenewCare we provide support and maintenance for OEMs including Cisco, Dell, Brocade and HPE, among others. In short, multi-vendor maintenance provides you with: 

Better control over your CapEx.

Removal of EOS/EOL on your existing data center equipment.

Customized SLA’s and affordable post-warranty support.

OpEx vs CapEx

Switching to TPM can be beneficial for your OpEx and CapEx. OpEx refers to the day-to-day operational expenses, for example administrative expenses, employee wages, cost of sold goods, maintenance and repair costs and leases.

In IT, CapEx are the costs obtained for the purchase of the infrastructure, such as hardware (e.g servers) and equipment. These items usually have a lifespan of 10 years, depending on the depreciation value. With CapEx, it is expected that the hardware and equipment incur the expense in the present and generates profit in the future. 

By extending the lifecycle of your IT hardware, you also get to optimize your CapEx spend. By keeping equipment functional for as long as possible, you achieve the maximum return on investment. An extended support plan helps to lower maintenance costs and delaying hardware upgrades, thus securing a better return on infrastructure investments.

3. Flexible contracts and customizable service levels

With TPM, you only have to pay for the services that your equipment actually requires. You are not required to have Level 1 support for your datacenter equipment, if this isn’t a necessity. Flexible contracts offer you a support solution that are tailored to your requirements. 

Besides this, with TPM you can also change or modify your service agreement. This means that if you have equipment that expired in support coverage, you don’t have to worry about things such as recertification fees. 

With RenewCare, we offer flexible contracts with a wide variety of services including hardware support, delivered both online and over the phone, replacement or repair of server, network, storage, or data center hardware. This includes on-site engineering assistance, remote monitoring, operating support, and equipment maintenance. RenewCare also enables to customize these services allowing for flexible options. With customizable service levels you can adjust service levels and add or delete equipment from your contract at any time.

RenewCare

At Renewtech, we provide TPM through our RenewCare program. RenewCare provides companies with maintenance services, which helps companies manage renewals across platforms under a single contract from servers and storage to networking. Renewtech can help eliminate the pressure of IT chores so you can focus on strategies that help future-proof your operations. By switching to TPM in 2022, your business can save up to 70% on its IT infrastructure!

Why TPM is the future for your datacenter infrastructure

What is the difference between EOL, EOS and EOSL? 

When we talk about the OEM warranty support period, there are several initial terms that come up. They all have specific meanings which can sometimes be confusing. That is why in this blog, we will explain the difference between the terms and why it is important for you to know. 

The revenue model of OEMs is set on selling new equipment. Therefore, they have set dates that affect how the OEM will support and update equipment. What do these different dates mean for your organisation and IT infrastructure? 

End Of Life (EOL) and End of Sale (EOS)

Warranty support begins as soon as the OEM introduces new equipment and is sold into the market. After a number of years, the hardware reaches the End Of Life date which means that the OEM will no longer market, sell or update the equipment. After this date, the OEM continues to offer hardware maintenance, but at a higher price and for a limited period of time. End Of Sale (EOS) is the date from which the OEM will no longer sell the equipment and is often used as EOL. 

End Of Service Life (EOSL) or End Of Support Life

The End Of Support Life date is also used as the End Of Service Life date. From this date, the OEM will stop providing all support for the network, server and storage equipment. They will also stop offering, extending or upgrading hardware maintenance contracts. 

What to do after the EOSL or EOL date?

After the EOSL date, there are several choices you can make. What OEMs want is you to replace the EOL or EOSL hardware and buy new equipment. However, more often than not the EOSL date comes too soon, and your IT infrastructure is not yet ready for replacement, the equipment still performs well or it is an investment too big to replace the hardware.

Don’t want the OEM to be in control of when to replace your hardware? Then a cost-effective and sustainable solution is Third Party Maintenance. At Renewtech, we can continue to offer you experienced and flexible support with the same quality as the manufacturer, after the EOL and EOSL dates under one maintenance contract. You can save up to 70% in costs within your IT infrastructure with this service. We have access to equipment and parts from the following OEMs: Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Dell, Sun Oracle, IBM, Extreme Networks, Cisco, Juniper Networks, Brocade and Supermicro.

How do I stay informed about EOSL updates?

These various dates often pass by when OEMs announce them. That is unfortunate since it is important to be prepared for these dates before you are left without support, and it affects the performance of your IT infrastructure. Therefore, we advise you to subscribe to our monthly update of all EOSL dates of different hardware. Be prepared and subscribe to the newsletter here: https://renewtech.com/eosl-library/ 

Check out our services for more information and benefit from customizable service levels, first-time resolution guarantee and our worldwide engineering expertise.

The meaning of datacenter infrastructure

A datacenter infrastructure consists of the physical elements that can be found in a datacenter. When IT hardware and support hardware are physically located within the building or it has the physical structure of a datacenter facility, then it can be defined as a datacenter infrastructure.

Different types of datacenters

With the developments over the past few years, we have seen different types of datacenters emerge. There are five main types of datacenters:

1. Egde: the essence of Egde datacenters is that the datacenter is located as close as possible to the end user.

2. Colocation: this is a service where servers and other hardware, storage space and reach are rented from the owner of the datacenter

3. Cloud: this is similar to Colocation, however, in this case an organization rents infrastructure from a third party and gains access to it through the internet

4. Enterprise: unlike the types above, this type of datacenter is fully owned by the company and is used for processing and storing internal data

5. Managed: finally, there is a managed datacenter where a third party service provider implements, manages and monitors the datacenter type. We at Renewtech offer this service for your network, server and storage hardware. 

Renewtech offers global Third Party Maintenance for network, server and storage hardware from several leading OEMS which can be seen in the overview below. Whether it’s your wireless access point, fibre channel switch or network director which has reached the end of its initial warranty, Renewtech provides world-class support and maintenance for these OEMs. 

To provide a better idea of which components are contained in network, server and storage hardware we highlighted them.

What is datacenter infrastructure?

Network infrastructure datacenter components

The network hardware components are essential for the connection and integration of servers, datacenter services, storage and end-user locations. The hardware includes security equipment, firewalls, routers and switches. 

Server infrastructure datacenter components

Server infrastructure refers to rack, blade, and tower servers used to store data and applications. These are the physical components from a datacenter but servers can also be fully virtual environments within a physical machine. 

Storage infrastructure datacenter components

Data is the main engine of the modern datacenter. Storage systems such as network attached storage (NAS), direct attached storage (DAS) and solid state drive (SSD) are used to store this valuable fundamental data.

At Renewtech, we have several services that can help organisations with their datacenter, which can also be combined with Third Party Maintenance services. In addition, we have a large stock of IT hardware equipment and aim to ship the same day worldwide. Feel free to contact us, together we can look at how we will be able to assist you within your datacenter infrastructure.

What to do when your OEM hardware reaches the end of its warranty?

When OEM hardware reaches the end of its warranty, it is time to make some decisions on how to move forward with your IT infrastructure. However, most IT professionals have more options than they realise. When OEM hardware reaches the end of its warranty, it is wise to consider all the available options and choose what is best for your company.

There are three main things you can do when your hardware reaches the end of its warranty:

1. OEM renewal 

Many IT professionals tend to extend their OEM hardware warranty. Why? Extending your warranty avoids migration issues and retains familiar service standards. This is important as one datacenter error can have devastating effects. However, this strategy can result in much higher costs compared to the other two options. Service costs are inflated to encourage new purchases. Sometimes a business is not yet ready to renew or make a new investment.

2. Refresh 

Replacing assets that no longer hold warranty with new hardware grants access to the latest updates and innovations. While a renewal is usually capital-intensive, it also comes with migration and implementation resources. 

3. Third Party Maintenance 

Third Party Maintenance extends the life cycle of hardware through a cost-effective service model. 

OEMs

Companies who restrict themselves to vendor-supplied maintenance often find themselves doing infrastructure refreshed due to punitive vendor policies around post warranty support pricing that means keeping their systems on maintenance is more expensive than replacing them. Many IT pros have experienced these effects directly. Three-year support contracts are frequently purchased alongside new storage systems. Then, as soon as an array becomes stable and reliable, it seems, the contract comes up for renewal and the extended support pricing is very high.

There are many problems with this scenario:

– Replacing existing systems before their effective lifespan is up reduces ROI on hardware investments

– Capital is expended on storage hardware with features that are not “must haves” for the business

– Additional staff time is spent installing, configuring, and training on new systems

– IT always pays top dollar for brand new products because of OEM incentives

– It becomes a struggle to bring in a different hardware vendor – potentially with products better suited to the environment or the business needs – because the incumbent’s maintenance waivers are so valuable. 

TPM

A successful TPM-partnership consists of inventory availability, experience, and skilled engineers. Besides that, TPM also allows you to keep using the equipment that you are familiar with. Cost calculations show that effectively using TPM providers can deliver cuts of over 60% on budgets. When the correct TPMs are selected and deployed to overhaul support and maintenance contracts, datacenters can lower operating costs while still maintaining an incredibly efficient, modern infrastructure with always-on, reliable network, servers and storage equipment. But it’s not an option that OEM hardware suppliers are openly discussing as it threatens rolling support and lucrative maintenance agreements while jeopardizing cycles of costly renewals and while negating end of life penalties.

In response, one common concern that OEMs cite is the need to retain the manufacturer’s maintenance in order to receive software updates, but in reality, these updates drop dramatically in line with the age of hardware. Moving away from OEM support is a break decision that many companies have already taken, many of whom are Global 1000 organisations – transitioning fast and without interruption from defacto OEM contracts. 

The benefits of TPM

OEMs often try to discourage customers about TPM because bringing in an alternative maintenance provider break their stranglehold on storage acquisition decisions in several ways:

Maintenance contract pricing: TPM costs 40% to 70% less than OEM support. This factor alone can make it financially attractive to keep existing hardware in service. Bringing a TPM to the table can even cause the OEM to negotiate

Extended hardware lifespan: With extended lifespan comes option not to purchase new storage systems until the features and capacity needs of the business warrant it. Capital savings quickly follow.

Less costly, older systems become an upgrade option: Not only can IT organisations skip a generation or more, but they can also buy in to new technology longer after the release data, knowing that they can still get full service life from it. Letting hardware prices fall – rather than giving OEMs the support hard to incentivize purchases of expensive new systems – can be advantageous.

Naturally, that is what every IT company would like – to get the best possible deal on the right equipment when it is truly needed to emerging business requirements, and not a moment before.

RenewCare

At Renewtech, we provide TPM through our RenewCare program. RenewCare provides companies with maintenance services, which helps companies manage renewals across platforms under a single contract from servicers and storage to networking systems.

With our RenewCare program, we employ a large team of badged field service and advanced L3 engineers with an average of 15+ years’ direct OEM experience working on Network and Server storage. These teams are located in cities around the world and can be on-site at your facility within four hours. That means professional support whenever you need it, wherever your storage, server and network hardware is located.

Read more about our RenewCare program here