3 server trends that could impact hardware maintenance plans

Park Place Hardware Maintenance

Parker Published: April 09, 2014

IT managers looking for solutions like HP and Dell support can benefit substantially from third-party hardware maintenance plans. This is especially true as more organizations face mounting server management challenges created by emerging trends in the hardware segment. The server sector is experiencing rapid change and many of these industry shifts put an emphasis on having effective support plans in place.

A few server trends that impact hardware maintenance strategies include:

1. Commoditization
Servers are increasingly classified as commodity hardware, giving IT managers an interesting opportunity to create value from the systems. Commodity hardware creates value in two distinct ways – making new hardware easier to acquire and creating an environment in which legacy systems are particularly valuable. The low expenses associated with with buying many new servers can make it easier for IT managers to replace systems that fail without significant budget problems. While this may make refreshing hardware sound attractive, it also creates a dynamic in which making hardware last a long time is valuable.

If a server is relatively inexpensive, extending its life cycle makes it an even better asset. Third-party hardware maintenance plans enable IT managers to continue using commodity hardware, with minimal costs, well beyond the initial OEM warranty has expired.

2. High-density configurations
Many organizations are exploring ways to implement servers in configurations that are as dense as possible. This allows more applications to reside in less physical space and can eliminate some network latency and similar issues. At the same time, this strategy can also put an incredible strain on power and cooling systems, establishing a situation where hardware failure may become more common. Furthermore, the increased system density can make it more difficult to access individual servers and perform repairs. The many potential problems and the difficult of getting to hardware combine to make third-party support a key consideration as organizations turn to high-density server architectures.

3. Integrating storage and applications more closely
Storage is becoming a much more important technology across the data center landscape and getting maximum performance from systems is becoming incredibly important as IT teams wrestle with issues like big data and increased video use. Some OEMs are exploring new ways to bring storage closer to processing and even working to unify the various systems into a common architecture. This methodology is meant to eliminate some of the bottlenecks that have long limited end-user functionality and create a setup in which users can access data quickly and efficiently.

While integrating storage and servers can offer incredible performance potential, it also makes it much more difficult to maintain and support hardware. Third-party maintenance partnerships are specifically designed to help IT managers support legacy systems that meet unique needs in their data center. These plans become invaluable when OEMs are no longer offering support, or their warranties are too expensive, but IT managers still depend on a system to support key functions.

IT managers are facing major challenges establishing server setups that create value, but hardware maintenance plans can help them deal with some of these issues with relative ease.

About the Author

Parker, Park Place Assistant