NetApp is a leader in data storage solutions. Often times, when the 3 year factory warranty (initial support period) runs out, you are left with 2 options:
Pay Netapp’s lofty price tag, or obtain 3rd party support.
Too many times I have seen support organzations accept support contracts on storage systems they know absolutely nothing about. They are gambling that they will be able to find the expertise and the parts if and when something goes wrong.
Before you make any decisions, these are some important things that you should know. In this post, we’ll tell you five crucial points to consider when purchasing third-party support for your Netapp storage system.
The reason NetApp can charge so much for their maintenance, is they hold the cards. They have the Level 3 and level 4 engineers available (SME) at their disposal to handle any issues that arise. If you are considering 3rd party support, it is essential you ask about the availability, and the qualifications of their their top-level engineers.
This is a big one with a lot of NetApp 3rd party support providers. They don’t keep the parts in stock. It costs money to maintain an inventory, and with so many businesses to buy Netapp parts from, they would rather risk a late delivery than keep the items in stock. Make sure the maintenance provider inventories the parts for your system.
Expertise on your System
If your system is newer, more on the cutting edge, ask how much experience their engineers have on your system. Even set up a pre-sales support call to quiz down their techs. Most support organizations are amenable to this. Those that aren’t…beware.
Forward Stocking Locations
Does the support company offer a forward stocking location near you? If not, check if they would be willing to put spares on site. Either way, you will want likely-to-fail parts like disks or power supplies near your location.
As third party support organziations (industry wide) are not allowed to distribute firmware updates or patches, it is absolutely recommended that you obtain the latest firmware/patch from NetApp before leaving NetApp support.
The convenient and expensive answer is to stick with Netapp support. However, if you have a set budget and other needs to fill, this could a great area to cut costs!
We support all models from the NetApp FAS family, and the NetApp AFF family. Give us a call to see how we can help you improve your support and save money!