Reducing Enterprise Data Storage TCO by Purchasing Pre-Owned & by Using Third Party Maintenance (TPM)
By Donna Pizarro, Top Gun Technology
Managing data storage OpEx costs in today’s unique environment and also getting the best “bang” for your buck is challenging, at the very least. Storage needs are always increasing with more data to manage and fewer budget dollars available to keep it managed properly. Yet, there are several ways to reduce the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) in your storage environment for companies who manage their on-premise systems, including those who have chosen to manage their own private cloud.
Before proceeding, I think it’s important that readers understand the current and unique state of the hardware market. The effects of the chip shortage are still impacting supply chains and many companies are struggling to complete planned storage refreshes and waiting for back-ordered devices to be filled. Additionally, as you should already know, inflation is impacting everything and everywhere. OEM pricing for hardware support (OpEx) renewals have been so profound that many companies are re-considering their long-term IT strategies, as a result. Too many IT decision-makers have become a bit knee-jerk in their responses as they do not know, or have forgotten what I’m about to share in this blog.
As you likely already know, most servers are refreshed every 3-5 years, on average. Yet, most storage hardware is refreshed every 7-8 years. Since the actual hardware lifecycle refresh practices are not always as the OEM would choose, the following considerations should not seem so abundantly foreign.
Significant cost (CapEx) savings can be obtained by sourcing pre-owned capacity upgrades, cache upgrades and HBA/port adapters to tweak the performance and increase the longevity of an existing system’s lifecycle. Many technologies are accommodating to drive, host port adapters and cache additions which do not require additional licenses. As long as you have not reached the system capacity for drive count, HBA count or cache supported within the model you are using, purchasing pre-owned upgrades saves money over the cost of purchasing an OEM upgrade or purchasing a replacement system. This option also saves the invisible costs of additional education needed to learn the increasing complexity of managing the new storage offerings.
Purchasing customized, pre-owned systems can save considerable costs over purchasing the OEM’s latest and greatest storage offering. Working with n-1 or n-2 technology (one or two generations back, from current) will save money and often fits situations where the expensive, larger FMD modules or enclosures offered with the new generation are simply not needed. The savings become especially profound when sourcing pre-owned systems (or parts) from the independent marketplace.
What you may not yet know is that independent hardware maintenance (often called “Third Party Maintenance,” or simply “TPM”) providers can provide pre-owned whole systems/parts, along with a “bundled” hardware maintenance agreement, for any term you choose. This creates an excellent play for a short-term solution, but can also create a budgetary windfall for longer-term strategies.
Consider for a moment the nature of the truly “independent” provider. They’re generally OEM “agnostic,” wanting to understand your requirements and wishes at a different level than providers you’re used to hearing from. Once you have your pre-owned storage solution mapped out by either the capacity/performance upgrade, system replacement or system addition, serious cost savings result when the pre-owned hardware AND maintenance support are purchased from the same independent provider. Even more, the independent hardware maintainer is hard-wired to prolong the life of the purchased system for as long as you choose. Compare this, if you will, to the maintenance/warranty pricing provided by OEMs following warranty expiration or End-of-Life (EoL) announcements. The Third Party Maintainer is simply NOT pushing you into an unnecessary tech refresh, nor inflating prices to impact your preferred and planned TCO. Instead, “win-win” TCO scenarios are customary.
As today’s tough storage environment when back-ordered hardware can’t match data growth demands, and system management expenses are hit with unplanned price increases, such “win-win” scenarios can eliminate the burdens of evaporating IT budgets.
Top Gun Technology is able to provide “bundled” pre-owned storage hardware (or parts) with short- and long-term storage maintenance agreements. Top Gun Technology is a financially independent, veteran-held organization providing Mission Critical Support Services® to Fortune 1000 companies by leveraging OverWatch℠ as a service platform that is specifically designed to handle the maintenance and support complexities of today’s hybrid computing, storage and networking environments.
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Senior VP, Storage & Transition Services