Will it cover your business and keep it operational in case of a hardware failure?
As a rule, Server-grade machines are better-built than their consumer-grade counterparts. High quality branded servers from companies such as HP, IBM & Dell include many redundant features that further attempt to prevent network downtime.
But even the best branded servers with multiple redundant systems will eventually fail. Hard drives will often fail long before the life of the server is up, and power supplies frequently fail as well. Luckily, most servers have redundant hard drives and power supplies which mitigate this giving you time to replace the failed part without any downtime.
When another part fails, what exactly does your warranty cover? It is safe to assume that the 36-month warranty included on an HP server (such as a ProLiant ML350, ML370, DL360 or DL380) covers parts and labor and includes next-business-day support which means you will be down for no longer than one full business day.
But our experience with a particular problematic server led us to realize that there’s a catch: the stock warranty is next-business-day depending on availability. That means, if the part is not in stock you have to wait.
We were originally told we’d have to wait a week for a system board for a small law firm here in Seattle. This is completely unacceptable as the law firm is dependent on their server for all of their critical business functions. It’s only through exercising multiple contacts at HP that we were able to get the part shipped only one day later than we were originally expecting.
HP, DELL and other companies do have a solution for this through an extended warranty plan. Their extended warranties will give you access to a separate distribution network of parts should your server fail. HP offers an upgraded “Call To Replace” (CTR) warranty that will actually stock a separate server locally earmarked for you should your server fail. If things get incredibly bad, they will come out onsite within six hours to replace failed parts, or even simply replace the entire server with a newer one. These warranties are not cheap – around $2500 for five years of coverage on a $4000 server. But they may give you added peace of mind.
An alternative route is to employ a “spare server” hybrid Business Continuity system – which is included of all of our NetworkSERVE service plans. This will get you back up and running often in under 15 minutes despite a major hardware failure, giving us time to obtain replacement parts. But the “spare server” should not be considered a replacement for a good hardware warranty.
But if you are unsure of your server’s warranty and want clarification, please contact us and we’ll help you get it sorted out.