EMC Isilon NL410: Gaging Usability & When to Move to a Third-Party for Support

Isilon NL410: Gaging Usability & When to Move to a Third-Party for Support

You rely on your Isilon NL410. However, the current lack of OEM protection may have you considering your options. Do you upgrade to the latest offering? Do you try to go it alone without warranty protection? Or should you choose a third party maintenance provider (TPM) instead?

Each choice is different but it is important to go in armed with accurate information. In this post, we’ll help you evaluate the situation and decide what your next steps should be.

Where You Stand Currently

Your Isilon NL410 has officially entered the final stage of its life. The manufacturer stopped offering support on March 31st, 2021. If you did not already have an extended warranty with the OEM at that point, it is too late to secure coverage, which can be a daunting prospect. What will you do when problems arise? Where can you turn for troubleshooting? For repairs?

It’s enough to make any data center manager want to throw up their hands in frustration and just upgrade. That’s what Dell EMC would like, after all. OEMs don’t make money if you keep your hardware, so an accelerated refresh cycle has become the norm.

Today’s IT Hardware Refresh Cycle

On average, data centers refresh their IT assets every three to nine years. Why is the cycle so short, though? It’s because OEMs make it difficult to keep hardware in operation longer than that, even though there is plenty of useful life left in them. 

The truth is that your Isilon NL410 could have another decade of use left, but Dell EMC does not want you to keep it that long. Instead, the company does everything in its power to urge you to upgrade. Today, the average hardware lifecycle looks something like this:

  • Year zero to three – general availability.
  • Year three generally marks the end of sale (EOS).
  • Years three through six mark the official end of life (EOL) when the hardware is no longer manufactured.
  • Years six through nine mark the official end of service life (EOSL) when the OEM finally terminates support for the hardware.
  • After nine years, most hardware is dubbed “legacy” and is only supported through costly extended warranties or not at all.

Your Options

Your Isilon NL410’s official end of service date came in early 2021, which means it no longer enjoys full support from Dell. So, what are your options? Since you missed the window for an extended warranty through the OEM, you only have three choices:

  1. You can upgrade to the latest hardware. However, the problem here is that there could be an entire decade of use left in current hardware. Upgrading now means leaving a significant amount of money on the table (not to mention the cost of the new hardware, as well as the downtime required to install and configure it).
  2. You can choose to forgo coverage and just hope that nothing will go wrong with your hardware. You might hope that when you do need to service it or replace a part, your in-house team will be able to handle it. The problem is that simply finding replacement parts can be time-consuming and challenging, much less installing, configuring, troubleshooting, and potentially upgrading the firmware to ensure compatibility. 
  3. You can work with a third party provider to get coverage for your Isilon NL400. Ideally, this occurs four to six months in advance of your warranty expiring, but the right third party maintenance provider can seamlessly pick up support at any time, even in currently unsupported hardware. With third party support, you can maximize the lifespan of your IT hardware and avoid leaving money on the table. What could you do with the money you would have spent on upgrading? 

Choosing the Right Third Party Maintenance Provider

While deciding to work with a third party for maintenance on your Isilon NL410 is a smart move, it’s important to consider your options very carefully. You’ll find a wide range of TPMs out there, but they are not all the same. A few quick tips can help ensure that you choose the right one for your needs.

1. Make sure they actually support your hardware.

Many TPMs will claim to provide support for a brand, but when it comes time to submit a support ticket, you learn that they do not support your specific model. Always verify that the TPM supports the Isilon NL410 and don’t settle for vague promises of brand support. At Riverstone, we offer industry-leading support for your hardware and we never make claims that we don’t back up.

2. Verify the savings you’ll achieve.

You might be out of the running for extended warranty coverage through Dell (which is good for your budget, anyway), but you need to consider the costs of third-party coverage. At Riverstone, we provide outstanding service while saving you between 40 and 90% over what the OEM would charge, and we’re usually at least 10% more affordable than our competitors.

3. Access to talented, experienced engineers.

Cost savings and hardware support are worthless if you don’t have access to the right talent. Where does the provider hire its engineers? How much experience and training do they have? At Riverstone, we hire our engineers from the same talent pools as the OEMs, meaning that they have the in-depth, cross-brand experience required to handle virtually any problem you might encounter.

4. Check out the service level agreements.

Many TPMs offer just a single service level agreement (SLA) and expect it to fit every client’s needs. We’re different. At Riverstone, you’ll find four different SLAs designed to fit very different needs; whether you require 24/7/4hr support to just replacement parts only, we’ve got the service plan for you. Plus, each SLA is customizable and scalable so that you’re able to dial in your level of coverage perfectly.

5. Make sure the provider can support your other hardware.

Aging hardware is part and parcel of managing a data center, and working with multiple TPMs can quickly become exhausting. Make sure that your TPM offers what’s called co-terming: a process that allows you to roll all your devices’ coverage into a single contract with one point of contact. It saves you time and money while ensuring that you don’t have to jump through hoops when you need help.

Get in Touch Today

Don’t leave money on the table by replacing your Isilon NL410 too early. It still has years of life left in it! Work with Riverstone to get the protection that you need and coverage that won’t break your budget. You can contact us today by phone, request a quote, or send us a message for more information.