Posts Tagged ‘hardware maintenance’

  • Your 2018 Checklist for Hardware Maintenance

    Posted on: January 9th, 2018 by Joel Nimar

    The beginning of the year is always busy as businesses put together new fiscal year plans and budgets. One item to keep in mind as you prepare for your new plans and budgets is hardware maintenance. It's an issue that isn't always top of mind until something goes wrong, but it's better to be prepared than to be caught blindsided when a problem rears its head.

    To make sure you cover all of your bases, consider drawing up a hardware maintenance checklist that details everything you'll need cover the course of 2018. That way, you can be rest assured you have what you need to protect your data center equipment against failure.

    Hardware maintenance should be a priority for your IT plans

    Determining where to allocate your IT funds is often a painstaking process, and inevitably certain items are going to get cut or devalued along the way. This becomes problematic when organizations have to work on tighter IT budgets or – even worse – don't prioritize the right investments. Your new budgets may promise higher IT spending overall, but there remains some doubt whether executives truly appreciate and understand where that money is going.

    "IT stakeholders need to vouch for the importance of hardware maintenance."

    What to include on your hardware maintenance checklist

    When reviewing your options for a hardware maintenance partner in the coming year, there are several key features to consider to ensure you receive the right coverage and services at the right price point:

    Single-vendor contracts

    One of the most common obstacles businesses run into with hardware maintenance is managing the various service contracts in effect for all of their data center and IT equipment. The time and labor required to parse through each one and determine precisely what is covered by different original equipment manufacturers is one of the more costly, unseen expenses related to IT operations. To remove such headaches, work with a hardware maintenance provider that offers single-vendor contracts across a wide range of vendor brands, including IBM, SUN/Oracle and EMC. The right partner will be able to support both legacy hardware and future equipment purchases down the road.

    Flexible SLAs

    No two businesses are the same, so why settle for a rigid, one-size-fits-all, service-level agreement? Hardware maintenance SLAs should spell out specific terms that make sense for each organization, taking into account both variations in price point and uptime guarantees. There's no reason to get locked into SLAs that package in unnecessary, expensive features and ultimately fail to meet your needs. If a hardware maintenance vendor is unwilling to budge on the terms of their pre-built SLA, consider going elsewhere for service.

    Responsive Support System

    In a perfect world, businesses would never need to call upon their hardware maintenance partners in a crisis. But equipment problems will spring up, and when they do, your service provider should be readily available to lend support. A fast and responsive help desk is the hallmark of a truly dependable hardware maintenance vendor, capable of offering expert advice and assistance at a moment's notice.

    Another aspect to consider is where that help desk team is located. Offshore support staff may not be able to meet the level of responsiveness needed to quickly address problems as they arise, especially if on-site assistance is required. Under these circumstances, a U.S.-based support system is ideal.

    Having a comprehensive checklist handy can help your organization ensure it gets everything it needs from a hardware maintenance provider in 2018. For more information on equipment maintenance and what to look for in an ideal maintenance contract, contact Pyramid today.

  • PTSInet, our Cisco Smarnet Compatible Solution Raises the Bar

    Posted on: July 29th, 2017 by Joel Nimar

    PTSInet, Our hybrid cisco Smartnet™ and Smartnet compatible solution is getting better and better than ever. Pyramid Technology Services is pleased to announce, PTSInet Plus. With new features and benefits to totally support our customers and their mission critical networks. Our US based, Technical Assistance Center (TAC) is available for consulting services in addition to our Break/Fix, Advanced Replacement Parts and IOS updates to resolve hardware problems.

    Below are a few of the expanded offerings included in our PTSInet Plus:

    1. Assist with product use, configurations, adding or removing systems to the network and troubleshooting issues between all network devices.
    2. Manage problems according to the Cisco Severity and Escalation Guideline.
    3. Work-around solutions or patches to reported Software problems using reasonable commercial efforts.
    4. Network monitoring for an additional fee. Fault notifications.

    ​Existing customers will automatically be provided this enhanced service at no additional charge.

    PTSInet service is also available to our Juniper, Enterasys, Brocade and HP Procurve customers.

    Call or email us for details. (978) 823-0700 or sales@pyramidcomputer.com

  • What to do When Your Hardware is Declared End-of-Life

    Posted on: May 18th, 2015 by Joel Nimar

    Hardware End of LifeSo you spend lots of money on servers, storage arrays, or networking equipment and it works great for your business, but after 2-3 years, your OEM declares the product end-of-life, no longer offering maintenance, but your equipment still works fine.

    In fact, a recent study by Forrester Research among IT leaders at more than 3,700 companies estimates that an average of 72% of a company’s total IT budget is spent on sustainment while just 28% is applied to new investments.

    Case Example of Our Hardware Maintenance Solutions

    A Pyramid customer was visited by their manufacturer and told a critical server in their daily operations would be discontinued in less than a year. This would cost them $300,000 and 12-18 months to covert the code and move the application to a new server platform. Their IT manager called Pyramid for a consultation. Pyramid was able to offer maintenance on their server for less than 5% of the upgrade costs, guaranteeing it for 5 years. This way, they could plan for the future.

    What Happens When Products are Deemed End of Life?

    Businesses who have end of life equipment can still continue to use their equipment for extended periods of time. Many OEMs still support software maintenance during this time for up to five years, but hardware maintenance and support will not be provided. There are many independent companies that will continue to carry parts and offer different levels of support and technical assistance which could be beneficial to the consumer in order to extend the life of equipment.

    Why are Products Transitioned to End of Life?

    Newer models and advanced technology are two of the top reasons OEMs make the switch. As products become older, the costs associated with manufacturing parts and providing assistance can become costly for the manufacturer, who has found new, innovative ways to streamline products and operations.

    Upgrade When Your Company is Ready – Not When the OEM Tells you to

    As you try to determine whether or not it’s time to upgrade your server equipment it’s essential to remember one thing: Deciding when your servers are obsolete is completely up to you, not the OEM. Relying too heavily on OEM suggestions and what other companies are doing can result in upgrading too soon and leaving return on investment (ROI) on the table or waiting too long and risking your market position.

    What Alternatives Are Available to Businesses to Maintain EOL/EOS?

    An excellent alternative for supporting end of life equipment is using a hardware maintenance provider. Pyramid’s PTSInet is a smart and economical way to provide support for your legacy equipment. With mulitple service level agreements, businesses are able to maintain their equipment at within their comfort level and price point. We service many large OEM products, and offer specific maintenance solutions based on your manufacturer.

    Manufacturers make their money by increasing the cost of maintenance to justify expensive hardware upgrades. With Pyramid, customers receive customized service at lower prices. Another advantage of using this alternative is that customers are assigned one support engineer who will remain with you throughout your service contract, which improves efficiency on both ends.

    Companies who do not have the luxury of purchasing new equipment every time their hardware is declared End of Life can now breathe easier knowing there are viable solutions to assist. For more information on how Pyramid can help you maintain your equipment to extend its life and value, contact us today!

  • How to Save Money on Hardware Maintenance

    Posted on: October 15th, 2014 by Joel Nimar

    Can you cut maintenance costs without sacrificing service or reliability?

    Hardware Maintenance

    Businesses reliance of technology is increasing every year. Hardware maintenance is one of the most important aspects of maintaining servers and networks that run a business. There is a way to cut these maintenance costs without sacrificing service or reliability.

    Follow these six tips of hardware maintenance and most businesses can expect to reduce costs of that maintenance by 20-60 percent, all without sacrificing service and reliability. These tips can also extend the life of older hardware systems and reduce the need for expensive upgrades.

    1.) Audit Your Hardware

    Many customers pay for maintenance on equipment that is no longer deployed. Pyramid can do a physical audit or use auto discovery tools to help find equipment that is no longer in service. Sometimes a piece of equipment is still paid for under a service contract but not being utilized. By removing the hardware, not only will you save maintenance costs but electric and cooling as well. If possible, schedule an audit of your hardware and your maintenance contract annually.

    2.) Evaluate Service Level Requirements

    A business can always save money by evaluating the service levels needed. Service providers will try to contract for as much service as possible, even if that service isn’t needed. Periodically check your bill for miscellaneous charges or services you didn’t order. Mix and match service levels depending on your needs, not the OEM or Service provider.

    Try dividing your hardware list into two categories, high priority and normal. Any equipment on the high priority list should get the best service coverage possible within your contract. This includes production servers that need to be up and running 100 percent of the time like an e-commerce or a server that monitors your plant. Reviewing your bill atleast annually can save you money

    Anything on the normal priority list can have a lower level of service in your maintenance contract. If you have multiple development servers, you don’t need to have 24/7 protection on them. Other equipment will fall into this category. Moving items off the high priority list still gives you coverage and still meets the business objective.

    3.) Stock Spares

    There are a number of small hardware items that most service contracts cover, but don’t need to. Monitors, disk drives and other small devices are very easily customer installable anyone on staff and can get you back to business faster and saves money. You don’t need an expensive service call just to swap a drive — as long as you have a spare. Plus, a handful of spares in storage, work as adequate backup against the potential failure of dozens of devices, which is a huge expense in a service contract. Plus, if none of the drives fail over the course of a year there is no cost to keeping them for the next replacement need.

    4.) Get a Quote from a Third Party Maintenance Provider

    Manufacturers may charge more for maintenance because they have more internal costs to cover. Third Party Maintenance companies are focused on one thing: providing maintenance at prices low enough to attract customers. Since they have lower costs, they can charge less. It is worth the effort to get a quote from a third party maintenance provider to keep your old hardware living long past the days the OEM would service it. Many TPM provide legacy hardware support long after the manufacturer has discontinued support.

    5.) Consolidate Maintenance Contracts

    Customers tend to have multiple service agreements from many manufacturers By consolidating those service and maintenance contracts it can make a supervisor’s job happy, accounting’s job easier, and it is likely that a volume discount reduce expenses.

    6. Preventative Maintenance

    Heat can destroy a computer. Manufacturers designed systems to dissipate heat, but sometimes the systems can get too hot because dust will clog the power supplies and airflow cannot occur as the computer was designed. Fans and power supplies die and either people don’t recognize that or forget to replace them, creating yet more heat problems. Items are placed behind computer equipment which blocks airflow. Carefully examining your datacenter to look for fans that don’t work, or paying attention to the smells that indicate electrical burning, noticing the discoloration of plastic or humming sounds that are not natural for computers can all save money and increase the longevity of your IT assets in the long run. Finding these mistakes before a CPU is completely burned out can save money.

    It isn’t always easy to find ways to save money in a business. You can improve your IT operations by streamlining service, finding parts that can be eliminated, and saving wasted manpower can be a great opportunity to boost the bottom line. Your are not alone. Pyramid Technology Services to here to help. Contact us with your questions or a no obligation quote today.

  • Understanding Why Servers Fail

    Posted on: June 23rd, 2014 by Joel Nimar

    SHP Proliant Serverserver failure impacts all organizations, from small businesses to major corporations like Google. In one year alone, 1,000 of the 1,800 servers in a typical Google datacenter will fail, research shows. Within a 5-year life span, every server will have one or more of its components fail. Learn the common reasons why servers fail to ensure that you're taking appropriate measures to prevent failure. Why servers fail While servers fail for many reasons, environmental problems and improper maintenance are often at the root of crashes. Conditions that promote server failure include:

    • Environment too warm – Lack of proper cooling can lead servers to overheat and sustain damage
    • Not enough airflow between individual servers – This can also cause overheating
    • Patches not up to date
    • Old, outdated operating system that is no longer supported
    • Out of space – If not maintained, server logs can take up all available space and cause failure
    • Drain on the system – When too many processes are running, this creates a drain on the system that can cause failure
    • Improperly installed software
    • Hardware or software component failure
    • Weather emergency – Hurricanes, tornados, and winter storms can knock out power to the server, causing a failure

    The costs of server downtime Downtime majorly impacts workplace productivity. While IT may be able to correct some problems quickly, minimizing the impact on the bottom line, others can bring work to a halt. If your server overheats, it can take 1-7 days to correct the problem. That's 1-7 days without system access. When the server goes down, employees are stuck at work but unable to get anything done in a modern paperless environment. This is frustrating for staff and managers, and can affect morale in the office. Business also grinds to a halt, because sales and marketing cannot drive conversions (no system access) and potential customers cannot purchase goods or services (the website is down). The longer the server remains down, the greater the impact on business revenue. There's a degree of data loss associated with most server failures. At best, this can be irritating; at worst, important business documents can become lost or corrupted. It is not a pleasant place to be. Many companies feel theyhave a good backup and recovery plan, but haven’t even tested whether the plan works. So information is being backed up, but there is no confirmation to whether the data is even on the tape and how quick the recovery time actually is. We are here to help Effectively running an IT environment is expensive and in many cases the full costs and risks are not completely understood. Pyramid Technology Services has 25 years of experience providing new and refurbished servers, storage, and networking equipment along with the services to set them up and maintain them at peak efficiency. Our solutions insure your systems stay up longer and our disaster recovery and hardware maintenance solutions can prolong servers uptime and get businesses running again, quickly, when downtime occurs. For more information contact Pyramid Technology Services at 978-823-0700 or sales@pyramidcomputer.com. Joel NimarWritten by Joel Nimar. Joel can be reached at sales@pyramidcomputer.com

  • Do You Really Own Your Equipment?

    Posted on: April 6th, 2014 by Adminstrator

    You may think that purchasing equipment automatically means you own it, allowing you to repair, update, and resell the hardware by any means you choose.  However, many manufacturers don’t always assume that the right to repair lies with the owner.

    Ask yourself these questions:

    1.) Can you maintain your equipment in any way you choose?

    2.) When the lease or usage of your equipment ends, does the hardware retain value?

    3.) According to the law, can you sell your used equipment?

    4.) Do you really know if you own the computer storage, network devices, or other equipment you employ?

     

    If you didn’t answer a confident “yes” to all of these questions, then you’re not alone: many original equipment manufacturers (OEM) place unfair restraints on their devices to force you to use their services, including repair and reselling. Not only does this monopolize the maintenance organization industry, but it also prevents small businesses from making efficient, economical choices for their enterprise.

     

    For years, Independent Maintenance Organizations (IMOs) and resellers have been fighting to protect the rights of the world’s largest online/remarketers of products. Companies such as eBay, Goodwill, and the American Library Association work to ensure that the owners of goods maintain all decision making responsibilities of the good, including repairs and reselling.

     

    In 2013, the Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision, re-affirmed that the Copyright Act was not intended to halt the distribution of authentic goods. The decision maintains that consumers have the right to sell, lend, or give away physical goods, regardless of where these goods were made.

     

    What you need to know is that the years of fighting in courts ensures that you have the right to repair and resell your technological equipment in any way you choose. For the technology industry, the Digital Right to Repair Coalition (DRRC) works to protect digital rights of equipment. The Coalition has spearheaded the Owners’ Rights Initiative (ORI) whose motto is “You bought it, you own it, you have a right to resell it.” The ORI serves as a watchdog organization to ensure that small businesses are fairly treated by large technology manufacturers.

     

    The Coalition has power because of businesses like yours that join themwith the support of enterprises across the nation, the DRRC can petition and lobby large OEMs to prevent unfair repair and resell mandates.

     

    Sign the petition today to help ensure the future value of your enterprise.

     

    Pyramid Technology Services is one of many companies that offers hardware maintenance for IT equipment. Under the protection of the Digital Right to Repair Coalition, Pyramid can be your one-stop-shop for repairing, updating, and reselling the equipment that you, and only you, own.

     

    Hardware Maintenance Quote