First, it should come as no surprise that most everything in IT has an expected service life. Devices with moving parts (hard drives and fans for instance) will eventually wear out and fail, but any electronic component can fail without warning for a variety of reasons. Failure rates increase as gear gets older, which typically increases the price of support contracts the longer you keep your hardware.
The hardware support warranty should match the criticality of the component in your environment. Mirazon recommends eliminating single points of failure by using redundant systems whenever possible.
What’s in a Warranty?
Hardware warranties are generally based on a term (one year, three years, five years, lifetime), support time window (7×24, 5×8) and response time (four-hour, next business day-NBD). Some warranties also include services to replace a failed device or component.
Warranty Providers, OEM vs Third-Party
Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM)
As the name states this warranty is provided by the manufacturer of the device/product. Generally, that manufacturer will allow you to buy extended warranty once the initial term ends. Many people choose to cover their gear with an OEM warranty, though costs can increase dramatically as the gear gets older (vendors can use this to incent customers to replace their gear vs extending the warranty).
It can be costly to renew coverage if the warranty expires, many times requiring re-certification or back-payment/reinstatement fees. In addition, most OEM warranties require that you go through an often-rigorous proof that the hardware needs replacement, which takes time and effort – not ideal if you’re in a crisis situation.
Third-Party Maintenance (TPM)
A great option for post-warranty support is Third Party Maintenance, with companies like Service Express. TPMs can offer additional benefits, but most notably lower costs compared to OEM support. Most TPMs offer multi-vendor hardware support to your entire datacenter, allowing you to consolidate to one provider, as opposed to the OEM that would only provide support to their equipment.
Service Express supports organizations across the US and Canada. They offer flexible hardware warranties including a four-hour response time and Same-Day or Next-Business-Day to meet your need. Service Express can keep response times low because they keep parts local to their clients. They have a long list of supported hardware and can provide a month-to-month warranty. OEM typically require an annual commitment.
What if your hardware fails without warranty?
Service Express typically requires a maintenance agreement. However, they will provide service for Mirazon customers on a time-and-materials basis if an emergency pops up. The hardware can then be placed under a support agreement to cover future issues.
Service Express also offers a warranty uplift. Get that new Dell, HP, or Lenovo Server with the base 8×5 warranty coverage and have Service Express enhance it to a four-hour response time coverage at an excellent price.