Your HP XP P9500 Maintenance Checklist

Park Place Hardware Maintenance

Drew Teller April 29, 2015

When seeking an alternative HP XP P9500 maintenance partner, there are numerous issues to consider. For data center managers dipping a toe into the third party maintenance market for the first time, the choice among the myriad providers can seem overwhelming. It’s worth it to sort through the options, however, because a relationship that brings greater affordability, value, service, and results stands on the other side of the bid process.

Here are some key questions to ask about any contract you consider:

Are you getting complete hardware coverage?

The foundation of any HP StorageWorks XP support contract is, of course, the hardware coverage. Whether you are looking at an HP Care Pack renewal or an alternative arrangement, you’ll want to ensure that you gain:

  • 100% component coverage without any small print that could leave you in difficult straits if a failure falls outside of the contract parameters.
  • Only high quality, certified spare parts. This goes without saying with HP, but many third party maintenance providers offer the same benefit.
  • On-site spare parts kits for mission critical systems to help trim break/fix turnaround time on the most important equipment.
  • Speedy on-site assistance that matches the criticality of the hardware. Whether the HP XP P9500 is serving in a central role that requires two- or four-hour response or can do with same day or next day service, you should have the option to set SLAs accordingly.

Are O/S, software, and firmware support included?

Some HP StorageWorks maintenance contracts end with the hardware. Even HP itself is primarily interested in break/fix response and occasional bug-fixing software updates. You can obtain greater value by working with an HP XP P9500 maintenance provider with a more holistic view of IT support.

Park Place Technologies, for example, gives each client access to a stable of highly trained HP engineers, many of them with an extensive background within HP’s own customer support infrastructure. We also have Hitachi experts on staff, potentially just as important for this Hitachi-made but HP-branded piece of equipment.

Our talented, exclusively Level 3 support staff knows all the ins and outs of the HP XP P9500 and is available to solve problems whether they are hardware- or software/firmware-related. No matter, it’s all included in the standard contract price.

Is the service personalized and efficient?

Here is where prospective support customers can truly separate wheat from chaff. The best HP XP P9500 maintenance providers have redefined the support relationship, so that clients gain barrier-free access to the expertise they are paying for.

With Park Place, that means support lines that are answered only by Level 3 engineers—with no frustrating escalation procedure to deal with. It means an on-site systems analysis is conducted at the start of the relationship, so that we understand your systems and needs and have an opportunity to provide recommendations to make things better. And it means quarterly meetings to review trouble calls and ensure our HP maintenance solution continues to work for you.

Will the provider engage proactively to improve performance and reliability?

In addition to a systems analysis and regular review of trouble calls, you should expect your HP XP P9500 maintenance provider to be available whenever you need assistance, without a lot of restrictions on when and how you can use support. Park Place takes this mindset further than anyone else in the industry and incorporates into every contract extra time for proactive and routine maintenance issues and other client-selected tasks.

Can you cover your entire data center, or any subset of it, on your terms?

A provider that only covers HP equipment is of limited value in today’s complex, multi-vendor data center—and even HP itself faces this limitation. Better to work with a provider that can support a full range of storage, server, and networking equipment. Best yet, work with a company that lets you set SLAs for each piece of gear individually, empowering you to design a support solution that fits your needs and your budget.

Park Place stands ready to serve as a customizable one-stop support solution for your complete IT support needs. And with our One Contract / One Contact program, you needn’t leave warrantied or OEM-covered equipment out of the equation.

Is the price right?

It can be tempting to put the cost quote at the beginning of the search process, but the narrow range of price points in the third party maintenance market makes it difficult to narrow the choices based on a few hundred dollars difference. It is advisable, therefore, to arrive at a short list of possible partners based on contract inclusions, service quality, HP and multi-vendor support expertise, flexibility, reputation, and so on. You’ll find only a few providers in the market excel in all of these areas, and most of them will save you 40% to 70% compared with HP. Park Place is no exception in this regard and offers one of the most inclusive and affordable standard contracts in the industry.

About the Author

Drew Teller, Channel Marketing Manager
Drew Teller is focused on finding the latest end of life information. Drew's interests lie in supporting IT professionals with their end of life equipment.