The Trouble with EMC VNX support

Stack of servers

Posted on Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Like any contract, OEM support and maintenance agreements are couched in legal terminology that makes it quite difficult to understand specific details.

When it comes to first generation EMC VNX systems, vague terminology makes it even harder to fully understand maintenance coverage.

At a practical level, many contract managers struggle to reliably determine when their current support agreement actually ends. This may mean that the first notice of contract expiry is a call from your Dell EMC account manager to discuss upgrade options.

Is your VNX system even protected?

The first gen VNX systems, including the VNX5xxx series and VNX7500, were all supplied with a standard three-year support package, with services being provided by EMC. EMC also offered ‘enhanced support’ options, extending coverage by one or two years.

The first generation of VNX arrays were replaced by upgraded systems in 2013, marking the beginning of the end as far as EMC are concerned. Importantly, this means that the standard support packages bought with 1st gen systems expired last year; it may be that your arrays are not currently covered by a maintenance agreement at all.

A similar issue is faced by enhanced contract holders. The 1-year extension period expires during 2017 (which is almost over); so again, your arrays may be unprotected.

First generation VNX owners must act now if they are to properly protect their arrays. Any system originally sold with a standard or 1-year enhanced maintenance contract will already be out of warranty – and therefore unprotected. 2-year enhanced contract holders have a few months to plan and execute a costly upgrade program, or to arrange alternative coverage.

Third party VNX support – the only viable option

Dell EMC provide a discretionary 6-month enhanced contract extension for VNX arrays, but the value offered is questionable. In reality, this option is only of interest to businesses carrying out an upgrade to 2nd gen VNX systems.

If you want to keep existing VNX arrays in active use for 7 months or more, third party maintenance is the only viable option. Not only will you be able to use those systems for years to come, but the annual contract cost is typically 30%-50% lower than the Dell EMC equivalent – without sacrificing the quality of support received.

To learn more about your 1st gen VNX maintenance options – as well as how to protect systems not currently covered by a support contract - please get in touch.