Understanding EOL and EOSL for Your Hardware

Park Place Technologies


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John Reagan July 21, 2022

Be prepared for every lifecycle phase of your data center hardware

Understanding a piece of hardware equipment’s End of Service Life can be confusing, as it varies per OEM. Park Place Technologies has narrowed it down to four key phases you should know as you plan your data center maintenance and support.

Jump-to Section

What Is Sale Date?  |  What Is End of Life/End of Sale?  |  What Is End of Development?  |  What Is End of Service Life/Last Date of Support?  |  What to Do with EOL and EOSL Equipment?

Sale Date vs. EOL vs. EOD vs. EOSL

While some of these acronyms are actually synonymous, other indicate very different stages in the IT infrastructure lifecycle management process.

General Availability or Sale Date

General Availability (GA) is when the piece of hardware is brought to market and available for purchase. Hardware and software support are available, and guarantees are typically included.

End of Life (EOL) or End of Sale (EOS)

When an OEM announces hardware equipment has reached End of Life (EOL) or End of Sale (EOS), it means the OEM is no longer producing or selling the particular piece of equipment. You will still be able to purchase the product on the secondary market, new and preowned, but the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) will no longer manufacture this equipment after the listed date. When an OEM announces the EOL or EOS, this generally starts a 5-year phase-out of the equipment. Hardware and software support may still be available at this time from the OEM, but often for a premium price.

End of Development (EOD)

End of Development (EOD) for hardware comes when the OEM ceases development and production of that device’s operating system. Software updates and firmware patches are no longer rolled out. Around this time, contract and support renewals may no longer be available.

End of Support Life (EOSL) or Last Date of Support (LDOS)

The End of Support Life, or End of Service Life (EOSL) is the final phase in the data center equipment’s lifecycle. At this point, the OEM no longer sells, provides operating system updates for, or renews support agreements on the hardware.

Is My EOL or EOSL Equipment Still Able to Be Supported by the OEM?

The answer to this question varies between OEMs. Often, EOL support with the OEM is limited. If there is a maintenance agreement available, it can often be very expensive. In general, the following applies:

EOL Support EOSL Support
Once equipment has reach EOL, OEMs will offer extended support on their hardware … for a premium price. Third-party hardware maintenance is often an option at this stage. During this stage, the OEM will no longer maintain hardware. At this stage, third-party hardware maintenance is traditionally available for your hardware.

 

What to Do with EOL and EOSL Equipment?

As data center hardware approaches the end of support life with the OEM, IT professionals have more options for support available to them than they may be aware of.

Renew Support with the OEM
Many IT professionals elect to extend the warranty from their current OEM for simplicity’s sake, avoiding migration headaches and retaining familiar service standards. Service costs are often inflated in an attempt to inspire hardware refreshes or upsells, and business needs may not justify this costly expense. Parts may not be readily available from the OEM, since production has stopped.
Refresh Your Hardware
Replacing assets that are no longer covered with new hardware provides access to the latest and greatest innovations. This approach is inherently capital-intensive, but the resources associated with migration and implementation must be factored in as well.
Support It Yourself
IT professionals will employ this approach as a means of trimming capital expenditures. Effective administration of this strategy requires top-tier talent and seamless access to quality parts.
Third Party Hardware Maintenance
This popular and established option recruits third-party specialists to extend hardware lifecycles through a cost-effective service model. Successful third-party partnership is measured by inventory availability, level of experience, and skillsets of trained technicians.
Swap Your EOL Hardware for Preowned
While this option at one point in time may have seemed counter intuitive, greater value is being placed on hardware and hardware components. Acquiring preowned hardware from the secondary hardware sales market, while selling existing hardware, could result in increased cashflows for your organization.

 

When determining how to proceed with equipment that has reached EOL, it’s important to take a look at your entire IT estate and consider a hybrid approach when it comes to support. There are various factors that can come into play, such as long-term strategic goals for your IT infrastructure and resources (time, budget, equipment availability) when determining the optimal support strategy for your equipment.

How Do I Know When My Equipment Has Reached EOSL?

You should receive a notification from the OEM. However, these notifications may catch you off guard and not allow for proper IT estate planning. Park Place has an entire, constantly updated EOSL Library that provides accurate EOSL dates so you can plan accordingly when it comes to the extended support, retirement, and disposition of your equipment.

Does EOL Policy Differ Based onEach OEM?

Unfortunately, yes. Most OEMs will use their own lifecycle timeline down to the product level. If you have multiple OEMs throughout your data center, you can turn to a third-party hardware maintainer with field engineers that have experience on a wide variety of equipment from different OEMs.

Am I Able to Combine Support of My EOL and Non-EOL Hardware?

Utilizing a third-party hardware maintainer to consolidate SLAs from a single provider is a great way to streamline your hardware support by having a single point of contact. Once your hardware reaches EOSL, you have the ability to continue support with your third-party vendor. For devices that have ParkView Hardware Monitoring™, ParkView First Call™ identifies and takes care of your OEM ticket process, escalating your first contact with the OEM to second-level triage.

How Do I Get the Greatest Value Out of My Equipment?

This question normally comes during the EOSL stage when deciding whether to continue supporting your existing equipment or dispose of it and buy new or preowned hardware from the secondary market (or refresh with the OEM). The Park Place Professional Services team is standing by to help you with comprehensive IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) services, including data center hardware storage, asset re-deployment, secure on-site or off-site data destruction, equipment recycling and hardware resale.

Once you receive a notification that your hardware is approaching EOL, it’s important to know that refreshing your hardware is not the only option. At Park Place Technologies, our robust portfolio of products and services, including data center hardware maintenance, can help you optimize your IT infrastructure and extend the life of your data center hardware – without risking Uptime.

 

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About the Author

John Reagan,
John Reagan is the Product Marketing Specialist for at Park Place Technologies, where he leads the go-to-market strategy for the Park Place Hardware Maintenance™ offering.