March Bog 3 .jpg

OEM Warranties and Hardware Maintenance: Be Ready for Expiration Day

The movie “Tommy Boy” once described a warranty, derisively, as being like a bit of peace of mind on cardboard. While “Tommy Boy” chose to instead emphasize the integrity of the manufacturer to make good on faulty products, the rest of us know that that guarantee, that warranty, is worth its weight in keeping people honest. What happens when that warranty runs out? If you're running a data center, good hardware maintenance may be all that stands between that expired warranty and a disaster.

What Hardware Maintenance Options Are Available after OEM Warranty Expiry?

Data centers have plenty of options for hardware maintenance after an OEM warranty expires.

Renew the OEM. If such an option is available, just look into reactivating the original manufacturer's warranty. Sometimes this can be done for a fee, but it's not always available. It keeps the OEM in the game, who knows the system and has access to the parts, but some suspect such fees of being inflated costs designed to persuade businesses to upgrade.

Replace the technology. The “baby-with-the-bathwater” approach; businesses can simply replace the equipment that's gone off warranty. While this ensures the hardware is protected, it also opens up the potential for waste as perfectly useful equipment is jettisoned over the risk of breakdown. While no business can long stand the risk of hardware breakdown, we've likely all seen computers run for years after their warranties expire.

Internal maintenance. Most businesses already have an IT department, so why not put it to work handling hardware maintenance? Such a philosophy can work, but it assumes access to not only people who understand the systems, but also the right parts. The downside is that the IT department already should have a lot to do like vetting new apps, maintaining internal security, keeping a network operational and more. Diverting resources from these tasks could cost more than it saves.

Third-party maintenance. Third-party maintenance, commonly called TPM, calls in outside professionals to do what the OEM would have done when the warranty was in force. This also depends on people who understand the systems and can get the parts, but the TPM provider has an economic incentive to have this expertise and access: keeping your business.

How Do I Start Using Hardware Maintenance to Supplant an OEM Warranty?

Hardware maintenance, especially TPM, works wonders in terms of taking over for an OEM warranty. When you're looking for TPM, drop us a line at Emcon IT. We've got experience at several points of data center operation ranging from security to data destruction, so we're ready to help provide the maintenance that a data center needs.