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    Maintenance DELL EMC VNX switching to Unity Hardware


    The first generation of Dell EMC VNX reached the end of life on December 31, 2019 and contained the following EMC VNX5100, 5300, 5500, 5700 and 7500 models. This now leaves only the second generation of Dell EMC VNX models, the VNX5200, 5400, 5600 5800 and 7600 being actively supported by the OEM. The company's IT professionals are looking for trusted third-party maintenance providers (TPM) to manage and extend the life of these storage arrays, or have decided on a migration path and program to move to the Dell EMC Unity platform. 

    Decisions on how to hire a TPM provider for company IT professionals can be disheartening for those who have dealt only with OEM support. This is mainly due to the fact that software rights companies have received their warranty in the past. The question that needs to be asked is "will you still be able to obtain software or firmware patches for your legacy equipment?". Because if the need is for hardware replacement and the knowledge that you have a technical support desk or web-based support portal at your disposal, then a good TPM can be the answer to help reduce the divide until you are ready to move to a new data storage platform.


    Maintenance planning DELL EMC VNX


    Many companies are still in the process of deciding which is the best way to go. Long-term commercial viability must be considered before deciding to invest in a new capital purchase or to engage in a new operational partnership with a TPM provider. During that time, many will begin to maintain their EMC VNX hardware on their own and will inevitably be forced to make a decision due to unexpected challenges that occur with their storage hardware. Most good TPM providers will be extremely reluctant to entertain ad hoc maintenance. Instead, they will be inclined to start building a relationship with a customer to fully understand the broader objective and help achieve the customer's ultimate goal. This could potentially be to deliver an extensive plan for the maintenance and support of the current storage infrastructure, with a clear migration path to a new storage platform. This may also include a redeployment of current hardware assets in a company's research or testing area that has reduced risk, but still has a need to provide services. Another possibility may be to provide residual value in the current storage infrastructure with a phased decommissioning approach that allows partial support, partial return on investment and a gradual process to move to a new storage platform to meet business requirements.


    Dell EMC Unity Hardware


    The Dell EMC Unity platform consists of the entry level unit300 / 300F up to the Unity 600 / 660F flash arrays and the 350F to 650F models. These were the next in-line storage models in the VNX line, certainly if you were a first-generation VNX owner. The Dell EMC Unity platform will not reach end of life until the end of January 2023, exactly the same period as the second generation VNX will reach end of life. The availability of hardware parts for the Unity line is currently quite scarce and expensive. This takes companies that are forecasting or comparing with current OEM support quotes to a potentially unrealistic route for many. This trend will change and will change rapidly as storage technology advances and Unity hardware parts become readily available.


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