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data center

If you work in a data center, manage or own one, then you know that for every piece of hardware, there are OEM maintenance contracts that go with them. Like the hardware themselves, these contracts are not inexpensive. However, they can be less costly than any sustained downtime and the loss of business or revenue that goes along with it.

With this in mind, many data centers look to third party hardware maintenance services (TPM). For most, third-party maintenance can enable four types of business value, including cost reduction, cost avoidance, business agility, and risk reduction. In an earlier article I authored, I discussed 3 ways that third party maintenance services can lower costs. Here I give you 3 ways that third-party maintenance services can help you avoid expenses altogether.

No fixed costs to purchase and store replacement hardware and spare parts. If you plan on repairing hardware at your data center, you’d better have access to replacement units and spare parts. Unfortunately, this can be an expensive undertaking given the cost of the hardware itself and the need for space to store this equipment. A third-party maintenance provider that stocks and installs hardware for customers will essentially eliminate this need.

The ability to delay capital expenses. More and more today, data centers are maintaining their hardware beyond the standard OEM refresh cycles. Doing this can delay the associated capital expense of acquiring new and expensive hardware. The more costly or mission-critical the hardware is, the tendency is to maintain versus replace. UNIX servers may be kept for up to or even beyond 6 years; tape storage systems perhaps 5 years; and maybe a Windows-based server will be held for around 3 years.

Costs associated with downtime. Datacenter downtime can be a terrible thing. If you’re a third-party facility, you lose money and, at worst valuable clients. If your data center is company-centric, you lose money associated with unavailable applications or equipment for service or product-oriented client offerings. A recent IDC report suggested that the average cost of downtime can average $70,000 per hour! A third-party maintenance provider that responds quickly, with qualified engineers, and has the parts and replacement units ready can help keep any downtime costs to an absolute minimum.

Together with the money available in savings, these avoided costs make third party maintenance providers a real asset. Choose wisely, but do choose.