Mid-range storage arrays vary in capacity, assets and capabilities depending on the needs of the company. Needed storage can range from a few terabytes (TB) to over 250TB for some businesses. In most cases, mid-range storage will best suit small to medium-sized businesses rather than larger companies that tend to need enterprise-level and high-end arrays. Even though mid-range is the more economical option for many businesses, the long-term costs can be crippling if the machines aren’t managed by professionals. Determining your best and most efficient maintenance options for mid-range storage involves evaluating your IT support, assessing the storage needs of your business and analyzing existing service agreements with your storage provider.
For companies that use mid-range storage, investing in the best maintenance options can save thousands, extend the life of the array and protect business operations against major data risks. But how do you know what kind of mid-range maintenance is right for you? There are many options available and ultimately, the best option will be the service that can best fit your unique business needs.
The most common types of mid-range storage maintenance options are self-maintenance, the IT support provided by your storage system warranty or a third-party maintenance (TPM) provider. Some companies use a combination of these services or opt for more specialized versions of maintenance, but no company can dive into business-grade storage services without thoroughly considering their long term management.
Businesses with a robust and diverse IT department might opt to manage their own mid-range storage. One benefit of using exclusively in-house staff is that issues can often be resolved quickly and risks tend to be lower when IT is monitoring your digital systems daily. Malware and data breaches can be detected and eliminated without taking precious time to consult with the original service provider. However, this takes a very skilled and specialized IT department that is equipped to handle issues with your specific system. Additionally, many companies can’t afford to train and hire the amount of IT employees it takes to manage a mid-range storage system.
Upon purchasing a mid-range system, the provider will offer one or more warranties to choose from. When choosing the right warranty, it is vital to read all of the details to see what kinds of parts and systems are covered, how long the warranty lasts and how to reach their support team. One trick in evaluating the quality of provider support is to contact other companies that are using the same provider and ask about their experience. How available is the support and how easy are they to work with? If the storage provider checks out, the next step is to choose the right warranty for your company.
An advantage to utilizing the provider warranty is that the provider will be the most qualified to install updates and leverage very specialized knowledge of the software and hardware you’re using. On the other hand, provider warranties can be a budget pain point when the warranty runs out. In order to encourage companies to purchase new and expensive systems, storage providers tend to charge more for renewing warranties. Either way, the results can be costly.
Third-Party Maintenance (TPM)
One of the most comprehensive maintenance options is a TPM service. As mid-range storage grows in popularity, the demand for flexible and scalable maintenance grows with it. The tech industry has experienced an increase in third-party management providers, increasing competition and driving a push for more service capabilities, more in-depth risk detection, 24/7 customer service and more reasonable costs. It’s no mystery as to why mid-range storage users are flocking to TPM providers to manage many of their digital assets.
One way to maximize the cost benefit of using a TPM provider is to combine it with a service warranty and your IT department’s existing capabilities. Providers like Curvature offer worldwide technical support by certified engineers as well as advanced management services for on-site maintenance. These TPMs tend to include customizable plans to cover specific service needs during, and more importantly, after the system post-warranty to prevent costly extensions or upgrade costs.
Overall, mid-range storage maintenance options work best when covered by a combination of services: an in-house IT team, system providers and a TPM. If you have questions or want to learn more about how a TPM can improve your data capabilities, contact us today.