Using TPM vs. OEM Maintenance for Hardware Support

Ask the Engineer Park Place Technologies

Jack Kauter - Head shot
Jack Kauter June 22, 2022

Jack Kauter and Park Place Technologies Network Engineer, Brandon Martin, discuss a question about using third party maintenance companies vs. OEM maintenance in this month’s Ask the Engineer.


Jack: Hi guys Jack here from Park Place it’s time for another episode of Austin Engineer joining me is Solutions Architect Brandon Martin. Brandon. How’s it going?

Brandon: It’s going good Jack, happy to be here.

Jack: It’s great to hear and no problem. Alright Brandon, tonight’s question isregarding network hardware support. Many of our customers and prospects are spending a lot on network support.

Although they love the savings they get with the third party, they are unsure about what devices make sense for third party maintenance and which are good candidate candidates to remain with OEM support.

What are the key factors they should consider?

Brandon: Yeah, that’s a very good question; a very pressing question that we talk with a lot of customers about every day.

So when we’re looking at moving anything away from an OEM or a manufacturer over to a third party to reduce costs, there are several factors we need to look at to not put our customers at risk and save them some money and increase support.

So we’ll take Cisco for example. Obviously on network, the networking space that’s the main player. So in the Cisco world we look at three main factors.

First, where is that device in the customer’s environment? Is it their core data center? Is it connecting them to their cloud? Is it connecting them to remote sites or is it in a remote warehouse, say in the middle of nowhere collecting dust?

The second factor is where is it in the Cisco Milestone or Cisco lifecycle process? So that’s broken out into three categories.

So first of which is end of software, is it getting any iOS updates? End of vulnerability? Is it getting patches and updates on the security side?

And then LDoS – is Cisco even gonna bother with support, right?

The third factor that we look at: is publicly accessible software sticking to the software piece.

So can you get access to the software with or without a contract? That’s key.

Jack: And you mentioned software there other particular equipment models from Cisco concerning the software updates and patches?

Brandon: Yeah, absolutely.

So, the Cisco 2960s up through the Cisco 4500s in that edge category make their software publicly accessible, with or without a SmartNet contract.

And then also switching to the server side and the Cisco realm we look at UCS where the patches updates for more updates.

All that is publicly accessible as well, with or without a SmartNet contract. So Cisco could be charging you an exorbitant amount for access to those patches and updates when you could also get them for free and save money with a third party like Park Place on the hardware break fix side.

Jack: Interesting, plenty of great content there Brandon. Really appreciate you sharing your insight and certainly sure it will help those who are managing network hardware support, particularly where Cisco’s concerned.

If anyone has any follow up questions or something new to ask our engineers, you can do so by reaching out to us or commenting below this post.

In the meantime, we’ll see you soon on the next Ask the Engineer.


Jack Kauter - Head shot

About the Author

Jack Kauter,
As an Online Marketing and Analytics Manager, Jack is responsible for Digital Marketing initiatives with a primary focus on EMEA and APAC. His responsibilities extend to supporting the Sales team, orchestrating campaigns, generating leads and more.