Dirty OEM Secret #2: Servers Are Built To Fail

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Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2019

In the second of this short series about OEM secrets, we take a look at how your servers and storage arrays are designed to fail (don't forget to read Part I and Part III).

Creating simplicity– and problems

Hardware failure is a fact of life, particularly in older servers and disk arrays. Any system that contains moving parts, like spinning disks, will eventually fail, that’s basic physics. But it also creates a problem for your storage infrastructure.

In order to simplify server building and to reduce overall costs, OEMs assemble hardware as components become available. And this typically means that all of the hard drives fitted to an array come from the same batch.

Clearly this is a problem. Any manufacturing defects in a batch are then replicated across the entire system. A series of hard drives can fail in very quick succession, creating a catastrophic system failure, for instance. Even the consistent pattern of wear across identical drives will create performance and reliability issues in the long term. 

The simple solution would be to assemble arrays with drives from different batches, but this would mean keeping more assets in stock, adding to the overall cost of assembly.

“Proof” you need a maintenance contract

Parts failure is a strong argument for protecting your disk arrays with a maintenance contract and your OEM account manager will regularly remind you of this fact at renewal time. And they’ll use that as a mitigating factor for increasing contract costs by as much as 50%, too.

The account manager is right– in part. Your storage hardware does need to be protected against parts failure, but you don't need to pay through the nose for the privilege.

CDS– overcoming design failures

CDS offers a viable solution to these design failings. We maintain a multi-million-dollar inventory of OEM-approved spares, ready to replace a failed or failing unit, just like the OEM. 

Importantly, our maintenance contracts are typically 50% lower in cost than the OEM’s, without compromising the quality of service you receive. We can arrange to have spares delivered and fitted in your arrays anywhere in the world.

Intentional or otherwise, OEMs are shipping servers that are designed to fail. And we firmly believe you shouldn’t have to pay more than necessary for these failings.

To learn more about the CDS difference and how we can help, please get in touch.

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