EMC SAN Warranty Renewal: When, What, and Why Not?

EMC Maintenance


Parker February 08, 2016

Customers seeking an EMC SAN warranty renewal have several factors to consider in making the right choice. Everything from the available budget to the expected hardware lifespan comes into play. Following are some of the most important things to take into account.

When Did the IT Shop Purchase the EMC SAN Appliance?

The age of the storage system will affect what support, if any,
is available from EMC—and whether that support is worth the money. IT organizations often purchase the three-year EMC support package alongside the SAN hardware as a matter of course. When it expires, they then have some choices to make.

If the SAN is three years old or older, EMC support value begins to dwindle, and it’s worth researching third party maintenance alternatives. They’ll save the IT organization 30% to 70%, depending on the provider and the support package. And as long as you go with a top-tier company—one with a track record and a client list that conveys quality—you won’t sacrifice anything you’re currently getting from EMC.

At the five-year mark, EMC’s SAN support becomes highly variable. The company will only offer contracts six months at a time, and at any point, a renewal can be denied. Add in the fact that software and engineering commitment has moved on to newer products, and IT organizations find that this “here today, gone tomorrow” extended support isn’t worth the premium price. It’s definitely time to look at the other options.

There is also end-of-support-life from EMC to consider. A list is available here. Although EMC prefers customers to consider EOSL equipment obsolete, many third party maintenance companies will cover it. Don’t let the EMC upgrade pressure force your hand. An extra year of SAN hardware life is worth $700 for every $1,000 in original purchase price, which makes it well worth the time to identify a high-quality post-EOSL support company.

What Key Support Elements is the IT Organization Seeking?

If the primary considerations are component coverage, spare parts and installation, remote monitoring, and some engineering support, EMC and third party maintenance are both viable options. You can check out EMC’s basicenhanced, and premium support inclusions, but note that EMC won’t necessarily offer all of these service level options on all equipment.

Most third party maintenance providers will match EMC’s contract features point for point. For customers who want more than the basics, only a top-tier third party maintenance company will fit the bill. Park Place Technologies, for example, offers the best standard contract in the industry, which includes:

  • A wide selection of SLAs. From mission critical to “support together,” Park Place gives customers a variety of options to meet any budget or need. And support levels aren’t restricted based on the type of equipment covered.
  • Complete hardware, software, and firmware support. EMC support is fine for component replacements and regular software updates, but their assistance with software/firmware issues is generally limited. Park Place, on the other hand, can help with any issue, no matter what the root cause of the problem.
  • Escalation process-free access to Level 3 support. EMC does support old school, with severity level assessments and associated wait times. Park Place does it differently, staffing online and telephone support with exclusively Level 3 engineers, so clients get the help and the answers they need right away.
  • A local account engineer. Each Park Place client is assigned a Level 3 engineer with an appropriate skill set and background matching the covered SAN and other equipment. This individual performs an initial systems analysis during which he or she gets to know the environment. From there, the client’s account engineer responds to every on-site service call, providing continuity and efficiency.

WHY NOT GET THE BEST RETURN ON INVESTMENT?

In an era of tight IT budgets, data center managers and other IT pros need to stretch every dollar as far as possible. That objective isn’t in EMC’s purview. They need to sell new hardware. Support-dedicated third party maintenance providers have a more customer-focused mindset. Any company not involved in new or used hardware sales is agnostic about your purchasing decisions and devoted to your satisfaction with covered storage systems.

Park Place has developed our program to provide all the service and assistance necessary to get the most out of SAN equipment. Clients gain:

  • Proactive and value-added engineering assistance. In addition to the up-front systems analysis, Park Place checks in quarterly to spot systemic problems cropping up in trouble calls and to ensure service excellence. We also incorporate in every contract four hours to four days of engineering time for non-break/fix issues, so we can help clients proactively maintain systems, optimize the environment and processes, and achieve their strategic goals.
  • Reductions in downtime. More hands-on maintenance means fewer problems. Park Place ‘s version of support maximizes uptime—thereby minimizing crises, customer complaints, and headaches. And more uptime is more profitable, so that’s great, too!
  • Extended hardware life. Park Place keeps equipment operating at peak performance, and we never declare end of service life. We understand that many IT organizations need to get seven or ten years (or more) out of their SANs, and we’re happy to help make such life-extension a reality. In doing so, we help avoid unnecessary capital expenditures on premature upgrades, as well as the staff time, training, and risks associated with integrating new equipment.

About the Author

Parker, Park Place Assistant