EMC SAN Renewal and Alternatives

EMC Maintenance


Parker February 26, 2016

An EMC SAN renewal for maintenance contracts is hard to come by with EMC. Many of the company’s core SAN product lines are far into their end of life wind-down. By no means does this mean that support contracts are unavailable, however. Third party maintenance companies stand ready to take on the service, and most will renew contracts for years and years to come.

The Status of the SAN

The last of EMC’s Clariion SAN-specific systems, the CX-4 series, will reach end of support life in December 2016. The replacement, the original VNX SAN/NAS equipment, which “accounted for two-thirds of the company’s SAN/NAS storage product sales,” is no longer available on EMC’s online catalogue. VNX2 systems, “the first break from the Clariion FLARE codebase,” are being recommended in their stead. EMC support is still available for VNX5100, 5300, 5500, 5700, and 7500 systems, but many early customers are close to outliving their five years of guaranteed EMC support. When this happens, customers find themselves in extended support overtime.

Support for the Symmetrix-branded series is also coming to a close. The DMX-3 reaches EOSL in December 2015 followed by the DMX-4 in 2017. This leaves the nominally Symmetrix (but increasingly discussed without that moniker) EMC VMAX as the last enterprise SAN standing, except XtremIO products. An original VMAX release date in 2009 means that many VMAX owners are also likely to be in extended support territory and may soon outlast that two-year option as well.

Even VMAX2 owners may be reaching the end of the three-year support package usually purchases alongside the hardware and may benefit from alternatives to renewing support with EMC.

The Right SAN Renewal isn’t an EMC Renewal

No matter which of these systems—or how many—an IT organization currently relies on, there are good support options. In fact, it is becoming increasingly accepted to turn maintenance contracts over to third party providers as soon as the first renewal, if not before. This trend is taking hold for many reasons:

  • Cost-savings. Customers that leave EMC for a top-tier third party maintenance provider like Park Place Technologies save up to 70% off their annual contract costs. Even for customers who only take advantage of this option in years four and five of a SAN’s lifecycle, the cost differential is still impressive and impactful.
  • For IT organizations intending to keep a SAN long-term, beyond five years, the picture is even better. An early conversion to third party maintenance means no more worries about EMC’s support expiration. No more asking “will they give me a renewal this time?” Park Palce, for example, never lets support availability expire or denies clients the option of renewing. With us, hardware lifespan is back in the IT organization’s hands, where it belongs.
  • Contract cost and availability aren’t the only considerations. Customers can’t sacrifice responsive, effective service that keeps their SAN operating at peak performance. Fortunately, that’s not a problem with the best-in-class providers. In many cases, their offerings reach well beyond those of even EMC’s premium service. With Park Place, clients lose the escalation procedure, gain a local, Level 3 engineer assigned to the account, and benefit from the best standard contract in the industry.

Whether you are considering cost, hardware lifespan, quality of service, or other issues, such as uptime, third party maintenance has a lot to offer.

About the Author

Parker, Park Place Assistant