Dirty OEM Secret #3: No One Cares About Feature Updates

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Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2019

In revealing this third and final dirty secret (click for Part I & Part II), we dismantle one of the core arguments made in favor of renewing your OEM maintenance contract.

…but you won't receive any updates

If your business decides to cancel a storage hardware maintenance contract, you will receive a number of warnings from your account manager. One of the first, and seemingly strongest, is an end to automatic updates when the contract terminates.

Obviously, this is deeply concerning to the CTO, particularly as low-level exploits and software bugs could be used by hackers to gain access to network resources. An end to updates means that these flaws will go unpatched for as long as you keep your arrays in service. 

But depending on your vendor, this is not quite true.

You won't receive any feature updates

When your OEM maintenance contract with Dell or Cisco expires, you will lose entitlement to feature updates for your servers and arrays. If either vendor decides to extend functionality of their systems, you will not benefit.

But server/disk array hardware from Dell and Cisco comes with a perpetual license entitling you to any security updates– even after your contract expires. Which means that you are protected against hackers.*

No one cares about feature updates

Because of the disruption caused by software updates, many CTOs avoid installing them unless absolutely necessary. A security updates is undoubtedly important; a feature-set update much less so. 

As a result, many of the updates included in your maintenance contract are ignored, never to be installed. So arguing that you need to renew your OEM contract to access feature updates you don't want makes no sense at all.

If your business wants to reduce its operating costs by cancelling over-priced OEM maintenance contracts, the threat of withdrawing software updates is nowhere near as frightening as it sounds. You can then partner with a third-party service provider like CDS to support and maintain your systems at a fraction of the cost of a bloated OEM contract. 

To learn more about OEM dirty secrets and how to properly protect your storage assets without a vendor’s maintenance contract, please get in touch.

*Note: Unlike Dell EMC and Cisco, HPE and IBM do not automatically provide security updates to customers who are out of contract. Please speak to one of our technical teams about how you can still take advantage of third-party maintenance in these circumstances.

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