By Reid Smith-Vaniz

At Reliant, we invest a lot of time trying to find high quality equipment for our customers.  Since we provide mostly used hardware from companies such as Brocade, EMC, IBM, NetApp and Cisco, it is essential that we continue to try to find great sources of used storage hardware so that we can pass that value onto our customers.

Many different types of companies and organizations sell their equipment to Reliant, and there are typically two types of sellers that we encounter.

1. The End User

The end user is typically uninstalling their equipment or replacing it with something else.  Let's say an EMC customer is replacing their storage with NetApp or vice versa.  There are lots of reasons an end user would want to sell their equipment, ranging from a bankruptcy and upgrade to a major corporate consolidation. 

2. The Reseller

Typically there are a number of resellers, manufacturers and middle men that get high quality equipment.  They may be buying thousands of assets and storage is just one of them.  They may be taking equipment in on trade do to a sale.  They may have gotten the equipment back from a lease.  In some cases the end user didn't pay or changed their mind.

The mindsets of these sellers are much different, as end users typically expect much more money for their assets because they know what they originally paid for it.  It's totally logical that you'd want to recoup the maximum amount of money that you paid for it.  

Here are three tips to value your used storage assets and get a fair price that makes sense to all parties.

1. The newer the equipment, the higher the price you will be paid in relationship to the original list price.

Right now we buy equipment EMC and NetApp and I can tell you that the older 10,000 RPM drives are not trading as a high as the newer VNX and VNX2 equipment from EMC.  Likewise on the NetApp front, we are looking for the high-density shelves such as DS2246 vs. the older DS14MK2.  Sure we'll buy these older shelves and controllers, but the logistics cost to move them can often offset their buyback value.

2. The faster the drives, the higher you will be paid in relationship to the original list price.

It's pretty simple.  If you are an end user you probably want 15,000 RPM drives or even SSD or Flash.  These are the drives that are in demand.  Likewise customers are looking at SAS drives now vs. Fibre Channel.  It's not to say that these drives aren't still valuable; it is just the newer, faster drives offer a premium.

3. Location, uninstallation, logistics and market supply has a big roll to play in what you will be paid.

There are a variety of other factors that weigh into the value you will receive for your Used Storage infrastructure.  If there is a lot of it on the used the market, chances are you won't receive much.  It might be time to evaluate your options, and A) consign the equipment B) replace or reconfigure the equipment you have to put in up for an alternative use.

Reliant buys a lot of used storage and SAN infrastructure, and we are always looking for high quality equipment to buy and consign. It makes sense to offer our sellers a fair price so that want to be long term suppliers and come back to us when they want to sell or offload more equipment.

What are your thoughts on valuing your used storage assets?