What Does End of Support Mean?
Manufacturers cannot keep supporting old hardware or software and still move forward creating new and better products. It is not feasible to provide modern features for legacy software or maintain parts inventory for obsolete equipment that is no longer in demand.
Microsoft provides 10 year life cycle support on all products and Dell generally provides 3 year warranty on workstations and up to 5 years on servers. While these products may continue to function past the supported life cycle or warranty, continued usage carries a high amount of risk for security vulnerabilities and loss due to downtime.
Unfortunately, accepting such risk has stark realities for customers:
- Additional charges. Support provided for hardware out of warranty or software past end of life often incurs extra fees.
- Recovery not guaranteed. Legacy software is usually not compatible with current applications and there are generally no replacement parts for hardware out of warranty. Besides lost productivity, the incidence of lost data increases dramatically.
- Waterfall effect. Unplanned emergency replacement of critical business hardware and software is agonizing to wait for delivery and installation. Then new hardware requires new software that complicates restoring operations and forces staff to utilize different technology with no training.
By maintaining standardization and following technology forecasts, savvy managed services customers avoid these pain points. These customers also understand that streamlining technology lowers costs and helps to improve business operations.