reliant reading list tabletAs the old saying goes, “those who fail to plan, plan to fail”. This quote is true for many things in life, including when it comes to managing your IT assets. There are few constants in the world of IT, but one thing that you can almost count on is the OEM declaring your IT hardware EOL while it still works for you. And with IT budget growth slowing down, there’s more of a need for organizations to take IT lifecycle planning into their own hands. But how do you do that? Follow these three tips when planning the lifecycle of your storage, server, and networking equipment.

Start Early: IT Asset Management

There’s no need to wait for an EOL, EOA, EOS, or EOSL announcement to begin thinking about the life of your data center hardware. Instead, you should think about your needs and potential growth to decide how long you would like to keep a piece of equipment. After you’ve purchased your hardware you should also begin tracking it in an IT Asset Management tool so when the OEM does declare it End of Life, you aren’t surprised and you have a plan of action in place.

Review IT Buying Cycles: Third Party Maintenance

Have you been refreshing your storage environment and network on the OEM’s schedule? With manufacturers bringing new technology to market quicker, this means refresh and upgrade cycles have become shorter and shorter. But what happens when you can’t afford a new storage array or switch only 3-5 years after purchasing your current one? This is a great time to review how often your business should buy new IT hardware. Extending buying cycles can uncover a great deal of savings. If you do decide to keep your hardware past formal EOL dates, you will have to find alternative support vendors to keep your data center up and running. Using third party maintenance can save you up to 70% on your IT support budget. This support option allows you to break the OEM buying schedule and extend the life of your hardware.

Create an IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) Strategy

Once you’ve decided how long you want to keep your IT equipment, you should then consider what will happen with it once you’re ready for new hardware. Will you wipe the data from your storage system in order to trade it in or do you have environmentally friendly destruction protocols in place? No matter what, you should know what you plan to do with your hardware before decommissioning. There are a great deal of ITAD strategies, but putting one in place will make transitioning to new hardware easier and more cost-efficient.

What’s Next?

These are just a few tips designed to help you with IT lifecycle planning. To learn more about how to plan, acquire, maintain, and decommission your data center hardware, reach out to one of our data center specialists or give us a call at 1.877.227.0828.