According to Gartner: Try It, You’ll Like It

Why third-party maintenance is a great option for data center hardware

Gartner has just issued a report on lowering storage acquisition and ownership costs through third party maintenance (TPM). It’s an in-depth look at the value TPM can deliver to IT enterprises.

There are some real gems in the findings. For example, Garner states that savings available through TPM are in the 40% to 70% range when compared with OEM support costs. This is precisely what Park Place clients have seen for decades.

Those numbers are reason enough to consider whether restricting an enterprise to only OEM maintenance contracts is worth the price. Definitely check out the year-by-year comparison on page 3 of the report for more on that!

Another important update focused on useful life. Gartner found that storage equipment is operating for seven to eight years in clean data centers, much longer than the planned service life. They make recommendations for handling the longer lifespans by switching to TPM at a strategic point in the lifecycle.

Sadly, the report also uncovers greater concern about spare parts quality and microcode updates than is warranted by TPMs’ actual track records. We must agree—TPMS need to share our advantages more widely. For example, Park Place has a lower DOA (dead on arrival) record for spare parts than the OEMs, not to mention a higher first-time fix rate. And our customers get immediate escalation to Level 3 engineering, which saves time as well.

We do understand that there is reticence among some data center managers and other IT pros about trying TPM for the first time, but Gartner has a good solution:

“Redeploy older storage arrays into non-mission- or non-business-critical environments to gain experience with TPM or to overcome resistance to its use.”

Many of our clients have done exactly that. They originally sought help with an end-of-support-life or post-warranty piece of equipment they couldn’t part with, seeing Park Place as a stop-gap solution. Once they experienced the responsive service, however, they moved more gear to us for support. In many cases, we grow to take on entire data centers and global enterprise-wide needs.