The most common mistakes when refurbishing or acquiring storage

Five years have passed and it is time to renew the storage. What are the most common errors?

The renewal of enterprise storage systems is a critical, complex and costly decision that should be approached with great care. It is common for mistakes to be made when planning and carrying out this type of project and in this article, we will discuss those that we encounter most frequently in our new clients.
in our new clients

1. Incorrect sizing

One of the most common mistakes when renewing enterprise storage is to underestimate or overestimate the capacity (in TB, throughput and response time) of storage needed. Incorrect sizing can result in underinvestment or overinvestment in enterprise storage. We all know that an NVMe solution is faster than an SSD solution, but do we need it? And for 100% of the data? At what price? Are the servers capable of reaching the bandwidth allowed by the cabin? (hint: in 95% of the cases no). But of course, in order to know this, it is advisable to carry out a previous sizing or audit, which has a very small cost in comparison with the acquisition of the cabins and what we can save. Hurries and offers for tomorrow are not good traveling companions in this type of projects.

Failure to forecast the cost for at least 5 years.

One of our customers purchased cabins from one of our favorite manufacturers years ago. It was extremely powerful and the price was very attractive. Two years later, they wanted to add records (they bought it with the bare minimum) and the list price of the records exceeded one million euros. Moreover, all the exercises showed that it was more economical to buy a new, lower-end cabin with more than enough performance and storage than to expand the existing one. Absurd? No, a very common commercial malpractice among companies without their own technical staff. Just as we get printers for free, similar things happen with many other HW components. Switches that are licensed per activated port, firewalls whose price varies according to the users that connect and thousands of other tricks to hide the costs in the medium and long term, as well as the dependencies generated and the obligation to buy additional servers and cabins every few years. Although all manufacturers do it, with the right advice it is often possible to turn it around and at the time of purchase to get at a very interesting price everything we need while the machine works.

3. Not knowing the life cycle of the machines (how long they will be maintained).

Another common mistake is not understanding the life cycle of the machines and not knowing how long maintenance services will be available. It is essential to take into account the useful life of the disk cabins and the availability of technical support and maintenance services in the medium and long term. Many times systems at the end of their marketing cycle are heavily discounted… but also during their launch. The latter allows us to use them for a much longer period of time, significantly reducing the annual cost. If we buy a booth that is going to be withdrawn from marketing soon, it may be that when we have put it into operation it will only have the minimum years of support left and after 5 years the only alternative is to support it ourselves, order the failed parts from international brokers or buy a new one. If we have purchased a system that has been on the market for a short time (but long enough for others to have tested it and experienced its first failures) it will be easy to extend the maintenance for 6, 7 or even 10 years, which is usually the top of its usual life cycle. Sales people from non-technical companies will tell you “you couldn’t tell” or that “it’s IBM / HP / Dell / Hitachi’s fault” but it’s not true. We have to know what we are selling and inform our customers in an honest way about the pros and cons of each new infrastructure we propose to acquire.

4. Not knowing the compatibility matrices with the operating systems.

Another common mistake is not considering the compatibility of enterprise storage with existing operating systems. It is essential to ensure that the storage is compatible with existing operating systems and that if we must upgrade, we do so prior to the implementation of the new storage. This is especially relevant when operating systems are out of support due to lack of preventive maintenance service. Maybe the new booth supports Red Hat or Windows, but not the production version because all new hardware requires drivers that would rarely exist before. Time travel doesn’t exist for operating systems either, and a 2008 Windows is likely to have compatibility issues with a 2023 cockpit.

5. Failure to anticipate the impact of migrations from existing production environments.

Finally, another common mistake is not anticipating the impact of migrations of existing systems on the storage we have renovated. It is important to carefully evaluate the existing systems to be migrated and understand how they will be integrated into the new storage solution, who will handle these professional services and what impact they will have on our organization or business.

6. Not having a trained technical team or L2-L3 support to call upon.

Many customers buy storage systems but do not have the time to be trained on them and do not have external technical support services to turn to, thinking that in case of any problem they can turn to the manufacturer because they already pay for support for these systems, when this is not always the case, especially if the system is working properly and the problem, although closely related, is something else.

7. Relying on companies that do not have technical teams and whose business is based on high margins on SW and HW sales.

Unlike our competitors, at Sixe Ingeniería we will always be on the side of our customers, because we live mainly from training, consulting and technical support. Services that we complement with the sale of HW that we normally help to maintain, so we are the main interested parties in ensuring that the solutions are ideal in the medium and long term. In addition, as a reference partner of IBM and Lenovo, we can offer you significant discounts, we know most types of critical environments very well and we are technology agnostic, although we have our preferences based on our experience. Contact us!

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