My Coffeemaker and Other Devices That Should Never Fail
It’s 6 a.m. and my alarm is going off. I stumble out of bed and go directly to my coffeemaker. There’s still a haze in my eyes as I fill the pot with water and the basket with coffee grounds. My brain is craving this sweet caffeine just as I hit the “brew” button. Nothing happens. “What? Is it unplugged?” I check behind the pot, but everything looks fine. Having hit the button 10 more times it begins to sink in: The coffeemaker is broken.
There are some devices that just shouldn’t fail.
When everything is working fine in your data center, you begin to think of your equipment much like you would the appliance waiting for you on the counter every morning. You rely on it and it performs for you again and again — until the day it doesn’t.
What’s Not Allowed to Break?
If you work in healthcare, you understand that you can’t afford to have a device fail. You’re working in a highly regulated environment that requires instant availability of data without any data loss. Today, healthcare records are digital, so resilient storage is vital. If storage fails, records can go lost, making it harder for doctors to care for their patients.
In environments where availability is essential, hardware maintenance matters. Support for critical equipment requires skilled technicians, a readily available replacement parts inventory and 24/7 response times. These requirements leave data center managers with the problem of who will provide the maintenance they need. They might turn to the following:
- Third-party maintenance providers: Whom can I trust?
- Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs): Can I afford them? Why do they keep pushing me to buy new equipment when what I have has just reached peak operating performance?
- In-house technicians: Do my people have the required skills? Can we get the parts we need?
Who’s Familiar With Your Hardware?
Businesses may be tempted to select an OEM to fulfill their maintenance needs. The disadvantage here is that an OEM can only service equipment in its own family of devices. In addition, OEMs will always be looking to move you to the latest equipment; they aren’t motivated to provide long-term maintenance.
A better choice is to select a best-in-class third-party maintenance provider — one that has the skills and experience to support your complex environment. To identify a leader in the field, look for a provider that:
- Supports multiple manufactures and brands inside and outside the data center. This is an indication of the provider’s investment in the business.
- Has partnerships and alliances with other industry leaders.
- Provides exceptional training for its technicians and call center support.
- Takes data security seriously. Find out what policies and procedures it supports.
- Invests in leading edge tools including social, mobile and analytics capabilities.
Make your support resilient by selecting a provider you can trust. Then, sit back and enjoy your cup of coffee.