NetApp 3240 to go EOL
Last November’s expansion of the NetApp mid-range storage line put owners of the NetApp 3240 on notice. Mark Welke, NetApp’s senior director of product marketing told CRN that “Both the 3210 and 3240 will go end-of-life….”
The replacement of the NetApp 3240, the 3250, tempts the enterprise and midsize business markets with 40 GB of system memory and 16 processor cores per high availability pair (vs. the 3240’s 16 GB and 8 processor cores). Capacity is up 20%. New FlexPod installations will get the 3250 rather than the 3240 as well.
NetApp says it’s trying to size-up its mid-range arrays so it doesn’t have to move customers to high-end arrays. Another key motivation is to push customers toward clustered Data ONTAP. For some, the fact that clustered ONTAP “It fits cloud infrastructures more than the older Ontap code did” (per CRN) will be important. For others, the NetApp 3240 is perfectly sized and the cloud issue is a non-issue, at least for now, at least for this box—making the upgrade, even with 0% financing, less enticing.
That doesn’t mean that IT managers don’t find mention of EOL unnerving. As an Ars Technica forum participant points out, “NetApp has a relatively aggressive end-of-life policy. I have many customers who have been forced to retire perfectly good equipment due to early declaration of EOL.”
Too bad the same forum participant wasn’t able to direct customers to the other, better alternative—third-party maintenance.
A BETTER SUPPORT VALUE
The fact is, when your gear isn’t the latest on offer from NetApp, it’s best to look elsewhere for support. There’s a twofold dynamic in play:
- NetApp has a vested interest in encouraging you to upgrade to whatever they’re selling today. This mindset biases their recommendations and can even lead to strategically underperforming support. Basically, it’s advantageous for NetApp to make it seem that your problems would be solved with newer hardware.
- The NetApp support remains at the same premium price, but the value dwindles over time as updates and bug fixes go away, software support is rescinded, and the EOL march continues toward EOSL, when NetApp won’t help you anymore.
If you’re going to keep your NetApp 3240 in place, third party maintenance can deliver significantly better value for support dollar. Let’s look at the two ways that happens:
- Third party maintenance saves customers 30% to 70% compared with NetApp support.
- The support is actually better—more responsive (you avoid the costly time-sink that is NetApp’s escalation process), more customizable (you pay only for what you need), and unbound by NetApp’s EOL timeline (you keep equipment for as long as you decide—not how long NetApp prefers).