Not a Death Sentence: What to Do with EOSL Hardware

Obsolescence is a fact of life. Every piece of hardware that rolls off an assembly line today will eventually reach its End of Service Life (EOSL) date. While most have accounted for this possibility mentally, it can still be a bit of sticker shock to find that a system that was running quietly for precious little incremental cost suddenly needs to be replaced for heavy cash. So what can a business do with hardware when EOSL arrives? There are some surprising options to consider.

Not Dead Yet

Don't take the manufacturer's word for it that a system has reached its EOSL date; manufacturers add an EOSL date because it's profitable. While there are good reasons to have such a date on hand--a system might actually have a shelf life, and it's good to know in advance that a system is more likely to fail after a certain date--sometimes it's just good business. Pyramid Computers noted that around 72 percent of a company's IT budget is spent on sustainment, while 28 percent is spent to bring in new equipment. That's a lot of potential opportunities lost just trying to stand still.

Think About Third Parties

While it's possible to just brush off the EOSL date, some may feel prudence demands action be taken. Network World recently offered one great piece of advice: look into support from independent, third party firms. Some will offer next business day support for currently-held equipment, which makes the risk of going with EOSL hardware much less potentially disastrous.

Pricey Paperweights

Finally, there's a different plan: innovate. Server Fault recently offered some exciting ideas, in the vein of taking what has become a pricey paperweight and using it as an actual paperweight. More specifically, take the EOSL hardware out of the normal rotation and use it in unusual channels. Take out of date computers and use them to archive data as a protection against ransomware, or take network equipment for use as scratch boxes or in testing functions.

Keep Options Handy

The good news is that EOSL is not a literal term. EOSL is not a death sentence; the hardware that works today will likely still work tomorrow, and may continue to work for a few more tomorrows. While prudence often demands we make accommodations for that EOSL hardware, the accommodations don't always have to be "buy a new one." A little innovative thinking can save serious money and keep those EOSL tools still running as fresh as the day they rolled off the line.

For more information on how what to do with your EOSL hardware, contact us today.