Making a decision on who provides support for your storage, server, and networking equipment is an important part of data center maintenance. Many vendors talk a good game when it comes to maintenance and support services, but can they cut it as your support provider? In order to answer this question, you must understand each facet of third party support before deciding. To help you through the task of choosing the correct maintenance provider we’re defining a few acronyms you should know when considering third party support vendors.

OEM: Original Equipment Manufacturer

Historically, the broad definition of an OEM is the company who builds and sells storage hardware. But this term has taken on various meanings over the years as different companies merge and acquire one another while rebranding and reselling data storage equipment. When it comes to maintenance, the OEM is usually who you have the initial 3-year primary support with. This is important because once you reach the end of primary support, you still have the option to renew for extended support but maintenance prices begin to climb.

EOL: End of Life

With so many different acronyms floating around for product lifecycle milestones, it is easy to get confused. Not to mention that different manufacturers use different end-of-life terminology. In this case we will use EOL universally. When the OEM declares your storage system end-of-life it means they will no longer be selling or marketing your storage system and will likely recommend a hardware upgrade to the latest storage offering. Along with a recommended upgrade, the OEM will likely raise support costs on your current system. This is as good a time as any to start weighing your options for third party maintenance.

SLA: Service Level Agreement

The service level agreement (SLA) is one of the most important aspects of third party maintenance. Choosing the right SLA for support will directly impact the type of maintenance you receive from your vendor. TPM providers offer various service levels so you can choose the best option for your data center. Here at Reliant, we offer flexible SLAs that include on-site spares, remote monitoring, and more.

Now What?

Moving from the OEM to third party support can be daunting with all the different acronyms. But the first thing to remember is not to panic. There are third party maintenance providers that can offer the same (or better) support at a fraction of the price of the OEM. Have other questions about third party maintenance and other post-warranty support solutions? Reach out to our dedicated support specialists to learn how third party maintenance can benefit you.