Technology Refreshes vs Hardware Upgrades – Which option is right for you?

As companies and businesses evolve, information technology and communication options and requirements grow. Eventually, IT administrators are responsible for overseeing a broad inventory of computers and their peripherals, smartphones, and other equipment, each with different warranty expirations and OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) maintenance contracts.

While managing all these and keeping them operational and up-to-date is challenging enough, at a certain point, those administrators face the difficult decision of when to replace each component.

As with anything else, eventually, the administrator must weigh the cost of maintaining and upgrading their equipment against the full replacement cost.

Objectives of the OEM

Equipment manufacturers and marketers make their living almost exclusively from selling new equipment. Their commitment to keeping you from experiencing business interruptions and repairs begins to amplify more aggressively as your current equipment warranty period ends or that extended maintenance contract expires.

Perhaps you may wonder why replacing well-performing IT equipment that meets your current needs is a good idea. And since you are working within a budget to support the enterprise IT demands, new equipment or a system “refresh” before it is needed can seem excessive and very expensive.

The Difference of Working with a Professional Third-Party IT Maintenance Company

With ongoing maintenance and timely upgrades, essential servers can perform for many years beyond their warranty expirations. A proven full-service third party maintenance company will:

  • Evaluate your system capabilities continually against your organization’s needs
  • Provide ongoing maintenance for all equipment
  • Offer 24-hour monitoring
  • Implement upgrades to stay current and keep pace with projected growth
  • Maintain and access data backup in case of natural disaster or other interruptions

When is a Refresh or New Equipment Purchase Needed?

Eventually, IT equipment and critical servers are longer capable of performing up to the required levels, even with continual upgrades. Of course, newer versions can add considerably more capacity and new capabilities that your older model may not handle. Your third-party maintenance representative will test your existing equipment capability to ensure slowdowns do not become a problem and advise when replacements are necessary.

When Do Hardware Upgrades Make Sense?

A four-to-five-year useful life for your IT equipment is no longer considered the norm. Professional third-party maintenance can double the effective life of your data systems by using multiple strategies to extend their functionality. Global providers like thomastech recognize that an economical and timely hardware upgrade will forestall problems and keep your equipment running smoother, longer, and more economically.

Continual evaluations of processing capability, operating speeds, load limits, and more will indicate your IT system’s real-time performance. Skilled technicians will perform timely evaluations and install seamless, invisible upgrades that keep the equipment operating like new.

In any case, growing companies require ongoing hardware upgrades to:

  • Keep pace with rapid growth and traffic
  • Provide greater bandwidth
  • Increased storage
  • Enhances protection from malware and cyberattacks

Contact thomastech to Extend the Life of Your Existing Hardware

Replacing or “refreshing” your IT equipment or hardware each time your OEM warranty or service contract expires can be an expensive, unnecessary activity. As you watch the time winding down on the OEM’s support, contact a proven third party maintenance company whose mission matches your own: i.e., extending the life of your assets, systems and servers.

Following a thorough evaluation of your enterprise needs and growth projections, the professionals at thomastech will carefully test and monitor your current IT assets’ performance levels. Immediate upgrades will enhance the system’s overall performance and security as needed.

For more information about extending your IT equipment’s working life and reliability, contact thomastech, a cutting edge IT support company, for your confidential consultation. The thomastech professionals are experienced at solving a broad range of IT challenges and risks in various industries, saving you time, money and resources.

To schedule your meeting and evaluation for your business, visit our website or call our office at 1-888-838-8796.

Enterprise Hardware Buy Back

Are you trying to part ways with your old or used hardware? Look no further! Here at thomastech we have our own buyback program. We purchase a variety of products that range from all major OEMs like Dell, HPE, EMC, Hitachi, NetApp, Cisco, Sun, Oracle, and IBM.


With our buyback program, we offer the best prices for your outdated or used products, and we buy from both businesses and individuals. With thomastech’s purchasing services, you’ll be sure to get the best value out of your old devices and hardware. We have devised 3 quick steps to make this process as easy as possible for you.

      1. Send in your product and receive a quote
      2. We test the product to make sure they are in working condition
      3. We put cash in your pockets


With our buyback program, you could possibly pay entirely for your new upgrade. The longer you wait, the more your products depreciate. We want to help you, so why wait? Give thomastech a call today at 330-225-3117 and receive a quote on your items or use the contact us page.

Back to Basics: Cloud Storage

What is Cloud Storage:

Did you know cloud storage is not just cloud storage? It is a category title. Because cloud storage can include a few storage configurations, the most generic definition for cloud storage is a system, service, or storage device that is being hosted remotely to store data. Cloud storage in this sense would include public and private cloud storage. Public cloud storage is off-premise storage which is purchased from a cloud service provider (CSP) and the hardware is not owned by the organization using the public cloud. Private cloud storage, also classified as on-premises storage, is owned and managed by the organization using the data storage. Next, we will look into a few uses for cloud storage, including the obvious of storing data.

Uses for Cloud Storage:

In the modern IT environment, cloud storage has a lot of uses and applications. Cloud storage helps by:

      • Replacing your FTP for file transfer making files and folders available for anyone.
      • Making web-based collaboration possible, easy, and effective. It simplifies collaboration in general while saving time, cutting frustration, and reducing man-hours on a project.
      • Synchronizing workplace data including document files, system settings, old file versions, contact information, and software installation files between multiple locations and users.
      • Simplifying the backup process for systems and computers including personal computer data.
      • Freeing up space on individual computers where the work actually happens by storing large files like video and image files in dedicated storage. This keeps active use storage space (AUSS) on personal computer drives open for daily operations.
      • Providing a data restoration point in the event of system and/or device failure. For companies that rely on their data, having an offsite data backup and restoration plan is vital in the event of a natural disaster or any other unforeseen problem.

Variations of Cloud Storage:

As discussed earlier, there are two main types of cloud storage, public and private cloud storage. We will discuss the first variant, public storage. For review, public cloud storage is classified as off-premise due to a third-party CSP selling the space on their own data storage systems and servers. Public cloud storage is in essence data storage up for rent. As a result of renting space, the cost is often classified as an operational expense (OpEx). When renting the storage space, organizations are often given options to pay monthly or to prepay for a specific amount of storage. Additionally, the CSP is responsible for hardware and software updates and not the organization’s IT department.

A minor drawback to public cloud storage comes from its actual physical structure. The data is stored off-site relying on some other organization to protect and keep the data. Some organizations and IT managers might need to consider security issues and additional backup options in case the CSP mishandles the data, causing the data to become corrupted or lost.

Private Cloud storage, or On-premise storage, is cloud storage managed and maintained by the organization itself and not by a third-party. The storage hardware is purchased up front and installed, thus being classified as a capital expenditure. This process creates a large up front cost, but, depending on how it is managed, costs less over time for the amount of storage used. As an added benefit, the storage space is dedicated to the organization without having to share resources with others or having to worry about the CSP’s processes. As stated earlier, with a private cloud storage configuration, the organization’s IT department is responsible for all patches, software updates, and any other system maintenance.

Who Will Find Cloud Storage Helpful:

Organizations ranging in size will find both types of cloud storage helpful on different levels.

Public Cloud Private Cloud
Cost Pro: Pay as you go
Con: Unmanaged resources can cause cost overruns
Pro: Better utilization of on-premise storage resources
Con: Major upfront investments
Security Pro: Value-add services; investment levels no enterprise could afford
Con: It’s out of IT’s control
Pro: Complete enterprise control
Con: Limited by the enterprise’s own security expertise
Data Pro: Easy to upload
Con: Not so easy to get out
Pro: Complete enterprise control
Con: Large costs for scalability
Privacy Pro: Value-added service
Con: Compliance
Pro: Compliance
Con: Insufficient internal controls
Data Center Redundancy Pros: Fault tolerance, disaster recovery
Con: Data replication
Pros: Fully redundant
Con: May still require external backup

The cost of storage and who maintains the physical storage are the two biggest differentiators between both options. Public cloud storage is especially helpful for organizations that range from small start-ups and mid-size organizations. The up-front costs are lower than private cloud storage and work well for small quantities of data. As data storage requirements increase for an organization, the economic advantages drop off. When looking at the costs of using public cloud storage, it is helpful to think of a ratio between the required storage space in gigabytes or terabytes to dollars. As storage needs increase, so do the bills from the CSP.

Private cloud storage is a great option for mid-size to larger corporations who have larger data storage requirements. Often organizations who fit into this size bracket can afford the up front costs. By using private cloud storage, an organizations’ ratio of dollars to storage space decreases. An organization of this size has the ability to customize its storage based on need and can better secure data. Though these generalizations usually hold true, there are a few exceptions. Some smaller companies may want their own private cloud. After all, a private cloud provides a host of advantages, even some that are not listed in this post.


Organizations need safe, secure, and reliable storage. We have looked broadly at cloud storage and its two main variations, public and private cloud storage. Each one has its own strengths and weaknesses, which is why a few organizations use a hybrid setup that utilizes both.

When planning and setting up your cloud storage system, you need to source parts and maintenance. After three years, OEM support becomes cost prohibitive and parts become harder to acquire. Purchasing hardware from the OEM can also be a barrier to organizations  creating their own private cloud. thomastech removes these barriers. The hardware offered by thomastech is both new and engineer-refurbished, cutting costs significantly. To further assist, thomastech also provides financing options to assist IT departments in maintaining their given budgets. For support and maintenance, thomastech saves departments up to 70% compared to what the OEM charges for similar support with, and offers it all with a personalized approach. To learn more about how thomastech can help you resolve your data storage needs, call (330) 225-3117 or visit: today!

The facts behind new vs. old enterprise IT models that OEMs don’t want you to know

Is the newest model the best choice? The answer would be yes, right? Unfortunately, the answer is not that simple. There are many factors that influence the answer.

OEMs are constantly releasing new models. With each new model, the OEM proclaims it as an upgrade that it solves many IT problems. Not only are IT managers flooded with this information in OEM ads, they experience additional pressure while attending IT conferences and shows from both the OEM and other attendees. All this pressure pushes for a spontaneous purchasing decision versus a planned transition. When an impromptu purchasing decision is made, many IT managers overlook their multi-year plans and stabilization exercises. Is the offer provided by the OEM along with the outside pressure to buy worth discarding all the careful planning that has been put into place?

With every new piece of equipment released, OEMs advertise upgrades made over the previous model. Yet these changes between models are often minor and have little real-world impact. Most of us have had a similar experience even when purchasing consumer IT products. A feature is promoted as an upgrade, but later it is discovered the change/upgrade did not help in the way expected. In some instances, the changes made between models actually decrease the usability of the product thus increasing user frustration. In order for a model change to be accurately called an upgrade, its features must have a measurable benefit to the organization and IT department rather than some extra “chrome”. They should make a noticeable and valuable contribution to mission critical operations within the system’s environment. If the benefit is not significant enough, the older model currently in use may be the better option.

A general consideration for IT departments is if the inter-model feature change is significant enough to merit the additional work and increased capital expenditures. On release, often a new model has undergone only a few slight alterations since the previous model, sometimes just two or three. If these changed features are not vital for mission-critical operations, it may be wise to wait for one or two models to be released before upgrading. This waiting allows departments to jump over intermediate models and pay the price for one system replacement while accumulating multiple features instead of just two or three. This waiting allows for budget maximization while reducing downtime associated with system migration.

As with many other forms of tech, enterprise system models are not without their defects when first released. Often IT products display a bathtub shaped curve demonstrating the failure rates of systems and hardware. When a model is first launched it experiences soaring failure rates. After a while, the failure rate drops and the issues and bugs are worked out as the innovators and early adopters experience the problems. Often it is better to be a member of the early majority, or even in the late majority, on the product adoption bell curve as many of the problems will be fixed and the systems will be more reliable. Waiting too long, on the other hand, places users in the last 16% along with significant chances of system failure rates spiking due to the age of the systems.

Some IT products do not demonstrate the traditional failure rate curve; instead they demonstrate more of a flat or a steady increase in the failure rate. This unusual behaviour results from the root cause being impractical for the OEM to resolve or additional problems becoming apparent over time. For IT departments without unlimited funding, it is safer to remain in the early or late majority when purchasing and adopting the new model of enterprise hardware. New models are especially risky to innovators and early adopters as they have no previous history to determine whether the systems have a high failure rate and are thus unreliable. On the other hand, those following early adopters will know from their experience whether the model is a wise and safe investment.  

When implementing a system swaps for new models, IT departments must determine their system swap procedure to avoid additional costs. There are usually two options when swapping a drive. The first is to maintain a redundant system for transitioning data and users to during the swap, while the second is to shut down the system and cut access to the data. Both methods for swapping systems generate additional costs either from purchasing and managing another system or costs resulting from downtime.

Choosing option two and shutting the system down results in down time. As many know within the IT field, downtime is costly. Probably the highest cost from downtime associated with a system swap is lost revenue. Following lost revenue, other costs are incurred, including those resulting from reduced productivity, lost opportunities, and decreased customer confidence. To avoid or reduce these costs, a solution must be designed around compatibility with existing infrastructure and employees’ usability to allow for a seamless transition. The lower the frequency of system swaps in an IT infrastructure the lower overall associated costs and downtime.

When considering upgrading to a new system, IT managers should consider the additional man-hours incurred as a result of the transition. Not only is work required to move the entire system that is being swapped, but work is also required to reconnect and troubleshoot potential compatibility issues. Once the system is in place, IT staff and company personnel must be retrained. Not only is this time-intensive for production and office staff, but it also requires a significant time investment from those providing the training. A major cost to organizations and their related IT departments is man-hours. As a result, efficient man-hour use is a major consideration for many IT managers so they can maintain their given IT budgets. Increasing the intervals between system swaps decreases the overall man-hour costs.

Many managers at this point are thinking about their legacy hardware and their related support and maintenance needs. The OEM places additional pressure to upgrade systems so they can sell more and increase their profit margins. They do not consider what is best for IT managers and their budgets as their goal is to increase sales. As a result, support costs skyrocket when it is time to renegotiate the SLAs. Once a system is sunsetted by the OEM, no support is provided by the OEM regardless of the price, leaving departments without support for functioning systems. Thomastech provides a solution.

With Thomastech’s support, many managers receive up to a 70% savings compared to the OEM’s SLAs. Thomastech focuses on streamlining and simplifying the support and maintenance process. Thomastech accomplishes this by providing direct access to level three engineers, extensive internal hardware inventory, support for all your OEMs in one place and a streamlined ticketing and triage process. All of these features ensure a faster resolution, lower costs, and reduced downtime.