Hardware is the foundation of the modern data center. Servers, storage systems, network devices, and other IT hardware all rely on proper upkeep to work efficiently. Maintaining data center hardware is an extensive and complex process, as the many moving parts of the IT environment require regular monitoring, visual inspection, and corrective actions.
To reduce the risk of unplanned downtime and overnight shipping costs, data center operators often use third-party maintenance services for critical hardware. In this article, we'll explore the third-party maintenance (TPM) model, how it differs from OEM support, and why it can be beneficial for data centers.
TPM providers offer an array of services, including hardware maintenance and repair, software support, and on-site services. They provide preventive maintenance, resolve immediate issues, and assist with implementation and migration of new hardware. Because TPM providers are efficient, reliable, and knowledgeable, this model saves many businesses time and money over using an in-house team.
It’s important to have a maintenance and management plan in place before installing new hardware in your data center or undertaking any form of migration. Hardware maintenance can be expensive and disruptive, especially if problems occur without warning. ITIC’s 2022 Global Server Hardware Security survey found that an hour of downtime costs 91% of enterprises more than $300,000 and can cost mid-sized to large enterprises more than $1 million. The right maintenance plan will help your business avoid costly repairs and downtime.
Businesses depend on data center hardware to store, process, and transmit vital company information. Some of the most common issues that arise in data centers are due to wear and tear, misconfiguration, or unit failure. Third-party maintenance plans protect organizations against unplanned hardware issues by stocking hardware in forward stocking locations (FSLs), providing 24/7 tech support, and sending technicians out to replace damaged hardware.
OEM support is available only for certain hardware components that are covered by a warranty. Third-party data center maintenance, on the other hand, provides a complete solution for all an organization’s IT hardware with a focus on proactive management and maintenance. TPM providers work regardless of hardware EOL or warranty status, providing corrective maintenance and repairs as well as assistance with migrations and upgrades.
The other large difference is that TPM providers cannot give access to some OEM software updates and bug fixes. Companies that specialize in this area will work with you to determine which products need software updates.
TPM providers work with their partner businesses to create comprehensive plans to cover all data center hardware, including detailed schedules of planned maintenance, upgrades, and improvements. Some provide ticketing systems that allow you to track progress on reported incidents. This can be particularly helpful when you need maintenance in a rush.
TPM is often much more cost-effective and provides more options than OEM support, and it eliminates the need to outsource additional support for devices that are no longer covered.
TPM providers can tailor their services to meet your organization’s specific needs. Often, they can also provide more flexible contract terms.
TPM providers can often service older hardware that's no longer supported by the OEM, called EOL equipment. This can be a lifesaver if you have legacy equipment that's critical to your operations.
Third-party maintenance services keep your data center in good working order, reducing the risk of unexpected issues and disruptions to your business.
TPM can keep your data center running efficiently, so you can keep your focus on running your business. The professionals at LinkSource are experts in server, storage, and network maintenance and repair. For more tips on maintaining your technology environment, subscribe to our blog!