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service and support questions

service and support questions

Hi all,
Our HP rp5450 just came off lease. We need to keep support on it because no one here is a real unix admin (I'm trying, but I don't want to break anything) Hardware support is $4000 cheaper through another vendor. We want HP to continue the software support. Anything I'm setting myself up for if we don't go with HP hardware support? (we've replaced one GSP board and one tape drive in the 2 years I've been here).
Thanks,
Rocky Lavoie
5 REPLIES
Michael Tully
Honored Contributor

Re: service and support questions

There is old rule: If it's gunna break it will do so 5 minutes after you've cancelled the support.

It is a production system, work out the cost of a 4-8 hour outage waiting for help versus the cost to your business for the lost time.

It is not a production system then weigh up how important the system is to your business versus the outage.
Anyone for a Mutiny ?
A. Clay Stephenson
Acclaimed Contributor

Re: service and support questions

I think you already know the main problem that you are setting yourself up for -- finger pointing. This becomes especially true for cases where it's difficult to determine if this is hardware or software. Moreover, who is now responsible for firmware upgrades? How does your 3rd-party hardware vendor have access to the maintenance programs (e.g. ss_config) which is supposed to be an HP only?

I can only say that I have now passed the 5-year mark with zero unplanned downtime and HP handles all my support. However being extra paranoid, I don't even trust them and maintain a stock of spares for things like disks and memory so typically all HP does is ship me a drive to replace the one from my spares. Every now and then one of them HP Mr. Goodwrenches does have to show up and do some actual work.

For my money (or at least my company's money) the $4000 would be well-spent to avoid the possible problems arising from overlapping hardware and software problems. I would also suggest that you budget a little extra to stock critical spares like an extra drive. I just don't sleep well when I know that I have a failed mirror and Fed-EX and HP won't have my replacement until next morning.


If it ain't broke, I can fix that.
Mel Burslan
Honored Contributor

Re: service and support questions

going with 2 vendors for service has one downside, which is, when problems go into the gray area where you can not put your finger right on it and say "this is hardware related" or "this is software related", it is when the mayhem of finger pointing starts. If you can not afford such a situation, you need to take a deep breath and pay the few extra thousand dollars to HP in the name of "peace of mind fee"

Also, if you are going with another vendor for h/w service, make sure you check their clientele list and make sure find some contacts in some of the major comapnies in the list they give you as their clients and verify their service satisfaction levels. Some serve providers play sinister marketing ploys to get you hooked up, where they have no actual expertise in the area you need. For instance if they list a company for HP hardware support client, make sure this comany has some 9000 series servers and they used the vendor and satisfied with their service speed and quality.

my 2 cents.
________________________________
UNIX because I majored in cryptology...
Con O'Kelly
Honored Contributor

Re: service and support questions

Hi

I would certainly advise keeping your system under hardware support. Wether you choose to go with HP or another vendor is probably a question of how critical the system is to your business.
Before choosing an alternate hardware support vendor I would try to determine their experience in supporting HP 9000 systems, availabilty of parts, time to repair etc.
In very general if the system is absolutely critical to the business then I'd tend to stick with HP. Though in many cases big cost savings can be made by using alternate hardware vendors.

Cheers
Con

Re: service and support questions

Hi,
Thanks for the advice. I really would like to stick with HP for both software and hardware support. The problem is that we thought we owned the server after the lease was paid off (like a $1 buyout). We were wrong and now we have to pay $20000 to keep a server we already paid $140,000 for in lease payments. So our budget is shot for the entire year. And before you ask - no we don't want to buy ocean front property in Arizona.
Thanks again,
Rocky