Hardware maintenance vital as cloud plans rarely replace IT entirely

Hardware Maintenance


Ryan Platten April 29, 2014

Cloud computing is evolving and maturing, with more attributes of the technology becoming clear. One emerging point of view pertaining to the cloud is that it is ideal for highly variable workloads and volatile systems. For example, cloud computing is great when a business wants a new application for a specific project, but it becomes too expensive over time if that application will be used over the course of a couple of years. This attribute of the cloud creates an environment in which businesses particularly benefit from keeping some systems on internal servers to maximize the value of technology assets.

Hype and conjecture aside, cloud computing is prominent, but it isn’t replacing internal data centers in entirety. As such, IT managers need to be prepared to adequately support internal hardware, but possibly with fewer resources because fiscal and strategic efforts are being placed on cloud plans. The end result is a different data center environment from what many IT teams are used to. Major operational and technical changes may be needed to support mixed cloud and traditional data center environments, but IT leaders also need to think about secondary tactics, like hardware maintenance.

Considering how the cloud impacts premise-based data centers
Cloud strategies and traditional data center environments are not mutually exclusive. In fact, many organizations find that they need to continue maintaining an internal data center while moving some applications, particularly transient ones, into cloud environments. Furthermore, many IT leaders are choosing to develop private cloud systems while also maintaining more traditional internal IT setups and using the private cloud. These hybridized strategies are having a monumental impact on enterprise data center strategies.

One key component of increased cloud use is a greater dependence on legacy hardware. Many older applications, services and databases do not translate into virtual or cloud environments. The result is an environment in which legacy hardware can become particularly important. This is especially true as IT teams put more resources into the cloud and need to avoid unnecessary hardware refreshes and similar costs. This is where effective hardware maintenance plans are particularly effective.

Using hardware maintenance partnerships to improve data center operations
Finding ways to support robust internal data center assets while also enabling innovation through the cloud and other IT strategies can be difficult. Effective partnerships can help IT managers make progress in this area, and hardware maintenance plans stand out as a possible solution. An effective support plan can help organizations establish cost-efficient maintenance strategies that can sustain hardware well beyond the end-of-service-life date.

Establishing a third-party hardware maintenance strategy helps IT managers avoid the costs of a traditional OEM support plan and enables them to get solutions like HP support from a third-party specialist that does not face the same strategic limitations of the OEM. Manufacturers need to focus on sales first, but dedicated maintenance providers build their operations around customer support and, therefore, can offer considerable cost and operational benefits when it comes time to simultaneously support cloud and traditional data center strategies.

About the Author

Ryan Platten,