3 technology trends that are altering hardware maintenance requirements
Park Place: Hardware Maintenance
IT managers are facing many new challenges as emerging technologies push them to set aside long-held strategies and operations in favor of new ways to get the job done. This is happening in a variety of IT segments, and the movement toward new methodologies is particularly clear in the data center hardware maintenance industry. IT managers increasingly find themselves in a fiscal or operational climate where traditional OEM extended warranty models are unable to work as a viable option, making third-party hardware maintenance plans a necessary part of operations.
Taking advantage of a dedicated maintenance and support partnership can help IT managers keep pace with a variety of technological trends, but three really stand out:
1. Cloud computing
The cloud is enabling IT teams to move hardware out of the internal data center and reduce their day-to-day management burden. The end result is a situation in which fiscal plans are also changed, with many companies putting more funds into the cloud and less to the internal data center. This presents major problems for IT managers because many of the data sets and applications that cannot be moved to the cloud exist on legacy hardware. The issue occurs, in most cases, for one of two reasons – the legacy applications are critical, but they won’t translate into a virtual environment, or the storage systems offer unique functionality, such as built-in redundancy, that make them too valuable to replace with cloud solutions.
The end result is a situation in which IT managers still have plenty of legacy hardware to support, but less money to put into maintenance plans. Third-party legacy hardware maintenance vendors can offer services for much lower costs than the OEMs, relieving IT leaders of the fiscal challenges that come with managing legacy systems in a cloudified IT world. Some vendors can even provide data and storage migration services for hard-to-move data on legacy systems.
2. Big data
The big data analytics movement is emerging as a key trend across a diverse range of business sectors. For IT managers, this often means finding ways to resolve major storage challenges. Central to this issue is a need to balance high-performance systems for active data and high-capacity arrays for archived information. Many businesses lack the fiscal resources to pour into new systems in both of these areas, but big data requirements make it extremely difficult to skimp on either. One solution is to use legacy storage systems to support archiving and purchase new arrays to meet ongoing performance needs.
This option can reduce the costs of big data plans without forcing organizations to make sacrifices in terms of quality. In such a setup, hardware maintenance partnerships can prove invaluable to ensuring reliability for the legacy systems used to archive data.
3. Green IT
Sustainability is moving from being a secondary, or even tertiary, concern for IT leaders to a primary issue. The reality is that power and electronics waste issues are growing exponentially as technology demands rise. Green IT strategies are becoming a priority with this problem facing companies in just about every sector. Dealing with waste is a particularly challenging issue because computer, server, storage and network components can feature a combination of hazardous chemicals, materials that require special disposal methods and precious metals that need to be recycled.
A third-party hardware maintenance plan can enable IT managers to deal with waste more effectively through supplementary services that support equipment disposal. This is particularly valuable for storage systems because companies must not only consider environmental factors when casting aside solutions, they must also follow data erasure standards for hardware disposal to ensure information is inaccessible when hard disks are thrown away. Many hardware maintenance providers offer specialized secure ITAD services in this area, making them a valuable asset for sustainability-minded IT leaders.