Expanding our multivendor skills in data centre maintenance

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Blue Chip Blog
15 Jul 2019
Expanding our multivendor skills in data centre maintenance

More than just IBM

Now, there is no doubt that Blue Chip is the UK’s leader in third-party data centre maintenance for IBM hardware. Blue Chip has been highly synonymous with IBM maintenance since our founding in 1987 and it’s a core service which is still heavily in demand from a wide variety of industries.

However, our skill sets cover almost everything within the four walls of your data centre, from a wide variety of manufacturers.

  • HPe
  • IBM
  • Dell/EMC
  • Lenovo
  • Cisco
  • Sun
  • Oracle

First for third party maintenance

In the past, for a lot of maintenance that covered non-IBM technology, we used to rely on sub-contracting. Last year, we took multivendor maintenance in-house, following an intensive recruitment process for our staff.

I spoke with Ian Hurlston, a key member in Blue Chip’s Technical Support team, to get a better understanding of our strengths in this area.

“Basically, we can service customers’ systems in exactly the same way as we do with IBM tech”, says Ian. This is pleasing to hear, as our 700-strong customer base is largely built on the powerful reputation we have for servicing their IBM hardware estate.

Yet, this can’t be an easy task. I pressed Ian on what challenges his team have faced in covering servers, switches, routers and other equipment without an IBM badge.

“There are a lot of similarities. They all operate in almost exactly the same way, it’s just the terms and names that are different.”

Blue Chip has been doing this for around a decade yet had not been promoting it as a service line.

Industry trends

With my curiosity piqued, I wanted to know what’s in demand.

“They seem to have kept the same”, said Ian “The largest one is Dell, followed by HP.”

Lenovo is a relative newcomer to the server marketplace, having bought IBM’s x86 server business five years. “We’re not seeing a great deal of Lenovo kit” remarks Ian.

Understandably, a lot of this equipment residing in data centres will of course be new, although Blue Chip is certainly ready to handle maintenance on the Chinese technology manufacturer’s rackmount, blade, tower servers and storage systems.

“We’re seeing a massive increase in the number of HP requests” says Ian. “That’s our biggest growth.”

The technical support team at Blue Chip have a huge confidence in handling legacy equipment, regardless of manufacturer, having gone through their training.

Where do we go from here?

“The next twelve months will be a big growth period”, remarks Ian, who believes the technology landscape will take in new storage solutions and there’ll be changes to way data is stored.

“It’s going to grow exponentially. We’ll all be going over to flash storage units. Over the next five to ten years, you won’t see storage with spinning disks.”

While technology is always changing, Ian purveys a significant degree of confidence on Blue Chip’s ability to look after data centre hardware, no matter who the vendor is.

If you’re looking for third-party data centre, get in touch today.

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This article was written by Peter Thomas.

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