server spare parts

“Sorry Mr Customer, your server is at the end of service and we don’t stock parts for those anymore, please upgrade!”

If anyone reading this is involved in data centre support for their business and has ever dealt with any OEM, this will sound familiar.

This can sometimes feel like a tactic deployed by OEMs to get their clients to upgrade to new hardware, regardless of whether it’s the best solution for your business.

I’d like to bring up the example of IBM’s POWER7 range. IBM announced some time ago they were withdrawing maintenance on these systems from September 2019.

The IBM Power System range offers unrivalled reliability. Rarely do I get reports from clients saying they have a major problem with any of these servers. They are high quality, dependable, built to last and, in most cases I come across, are still being run nowhere near capacity.

Yet, it puzzles most of my customers when OEMs claim they cannot source parts anymore for systems that are – let’s face it – still performing extremely well. Furthermore, they will not support the operating system version, unless the organisation pays double the amount and is happy to be bottom of the pecking order when it comes to fixes.

The mystery solution

Let me give you an example of something I encountered recently on some old IBM storage hardware. The client was told, unequivocally, that no parts were available for this machine and that IBM could no longer support it.

This was unnerving for the customer so immediately they contacted Blue Chip, asking whether we could source or indeed stock parts for this equipment.

The easy and very quick response was “yes”. In fact, we couldn’t see any reason not to support for many years to come.

Then, the strangest thing happened when the customer went back to the OEM with the news that the customer would not be spending millions on hardware upgrades and furthermore, they actually planned to reduce their six-figure spend with the OEM by moving maintenance to Blue Chip. Suddenly, IBM was able to provide a further 6 months cover. Maybe the parts were miraculously found in some dusty cupboard?

I can see in six months’ time, it’ll be Groundhog Day! Try to force an upgrade then extend support and increase support costs.

Of course, when equipment does become older, parts do become harder to find, naturally. Just like trying to find a gearbox for a 1969 Ford Capri is probably going to be more difficult than finding one for a 2016 Ford Mondeo. However, they are available, it’s a simple question of knowing where to look as Blue Chip hold everything for POWER7.

IBM’s support for the IBM POWER7 servers is coming to an end in September 2019, that much is true. However, parts not being available is a complete myth, you just need to know where to look!

If you’ve had a similar conversation about your hardware estate maintenance with the OEM and are currently pulling your hair out, then give Blue Chip a call and have an honest conversation about it. We offer your business many benefits.

  • Extend the life IBM servers and storage
  • Save money
  • Coverage for IBM; HP; Dell/EMC; Cisco; Brocade; NetApp and more


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