Types of TPMs

To state an old truth, not everything that looks similar is the same. If you are hungry for an apple, then you want an apple. It is not the same if you get a potato instead. They are both food, but their differences are readily apparent. In the same way, there are different types of TPMs, third party maintenance providers. Using this analogy, while many TPMs can be good options, they may be a potato and not your apple. Get what you really need. Based on research by Gartner (a global research and advisory firm), there are seven different types of TPMs in the industry. In this post we will discuss all seven, what you can expect from them, and the services they usually offer.



Pure-play TPMs usually offer only maintenance options. They may have hardware, but it is not sold and distributed outside of their support and maintenance service. Some Pure-Play TPMs do not have level 3 engineering personnel on staff, but all have staff with some technical aptitude. To make up for their smaller pool of technical expertise, Pure-Play providers may outsource their support to other providers with a dedicated engineering staff.

2. Secondary Hardware Reseller

Secondary hardware reseller TPMs focus on selling hardware while also offering support for their clients as a secondary service. In some instances, these TPMs have their own field engineers and provide technical support for networks, storage, and servers. Secondary Hardware Resellers turn to other TPM partners for level 3 engineering support as they are incapable of providing this level of support and maintenance.

3. TPM Agrigators

TPM agrigators only resell the support and maintenance services of other TPMs and do not themselves offer any technical services or sell enterprise hardware. They will resell the services of both Pure-Play and Secondary Hardware TPMs, and they will add value by providing consultations. TPM Agrigators may also possess development tools to provide recommendations to clients about which type of TPM best fits their needs. 

4. TPM Selling Agents

TPM selling Agents only sell other TPM services, acting as an independent sales department for a portion of the contract fees. This could be a VAR, an MSP, or an independent consultant.

5. Resell OEM Support

Resell OEM Support is the most common type of TPM with a twist. Instead of a third party actually providing the maintenance and support, the OEM does. What differentiates this from direct OEM support is that it is purchased through another party. This type of TPM resells hardware and adds support as a packaged deal. The support side of the deal is then covered by the OEM.

6. Collaborative/Co-delivered TPM

Collaborative/Co-delivered TPM is a third party maintenance option that consists of a third party provider backed by an OEM. The third party handles level one and two while the OEM provides level three support. The OEM only gets paid when the ticket is scaled up to level three. As a result, this type of maintenance provider has a financial reason to keep the ticket from escalating all the way to level three and will try to handle the issues at level 2.

7. Multi-Vendor Support (MVS) TPM

MVS TPM can be a hybrid of any of other types of TPMs. As the name indicates, they support many OEM’s like IBM, Hitachi, HPE, DELL EMC, CISCO, NetApp, and more. The MVS TPM simplifies the support process and significantly reduces ticket resolution time, as the ticket is received and solved in the same place. 

What Type of TPM is thomastech?

To best assist the IT industry, thomastech was designed as an MVS TPM. Over time, we have  taken our support to new levels by including features beyond the scope of a typical MVS TPM. Besides simplifying the process by supporting multiple OEMs, thomastech has a large in-house hardware inventory and a level three engineering staff. Calls and tickets are directly received by our own employees and engineers, and we have partnerships and stocking locations throughout the United States and around the globe. If hardware is required for a break fix scenario, thomastech has equipment readily accessible for speedy dispatch. For a TPM, thomastech stands out with the best features of other types of TPMs combined into one with a personal touch for all clients. To learn more visit our home page, www.thomastechllc.com, leave us a message on the contact us page, or give us a call at (330) 225-3117.

Packaging: How We Do It

The Basics:

Nothing is worse than waiting for a hardware delivery only for it to arrive broken. Even worse is when the damage is not visible and the hardware is installed into the device. The resulting system failure can lead to hours of frustrated troubleshooting. All of this frustration could have been avoided if only the hardware had been packaged properly. This is why thomastech focuses on packing deliveries properly so that your hardware arrives in perfect working order.

Helping you keep your systems running and data moving is thomastech’s number one priority. In order to help you get your systems running faster, thomastech uses a custom packaging process designed to protect your equipment. thomastech has had over a decade to perfect its shipping procedures, which allows us to better assist you.

Our process of shipping at thomastech is a combination of skillful hands, plenty of cushioning (where applicable), quality packaging, and wise shipping partnerships. Each product has a different packaging process, which demonstrates our dedication to getting what you need when you need it in good, working condition. We want to help you focus on keeping data moving within your organization and make your job as easy as possible.

Packaging Methods:

Here at thomastech, we ship hundreds of drives each day. We devised a 6-step packaging process that is both safe and efficient.


Below is the process we take to keep the hard drives safe and in working condition so they are ready to install upon arrival.

Single Drives


      1. Shape single drive box to prepare for shipping.
      2. Place padding/foam on the inside of the box on the bottom to protect the drive.
      3. Place the sealed drive on top of padding.
      4. Double padding added on top of the drive to add further protection.
      5. Close box and apply tape to properly seal
      6. On the box, multiple labels are added to notify the carrier of the fragile contents.

Multiple Drives


      1. Shape a 12x12x12 shipping box.
      2. Double padding is then placed on the bottom of the box.
      3. Next, the honeycomb dividers are assembled and placed into the box.
      4. All the sealed drives are inserted into the honeycomb divider.
      5. Padding is added to the top of the honeycomb and the box is sealed
      6. On the box, multiple labels are added to notify the carrier of the fragile contents.


Here at thomastech, we ensure safe shipping for our customers. When we ship out enclosures, we handle them with caution and pack them with extra cushioning. 


      1. We start by shaping a 36x24x12 box.
      2. Three insta-foam packets are inserted into the bottom of the box.
      3. We place the enclosure onto the insta-foam packets so they expand around the enclosure creating a form-fitting cushion for maximum protection.
      4. Next an additional four packets of insta-foam are added to the corners to secure it and keep it from moving. This provides 360 degrees of protection, stabilizing the enclosure and removing motion within the box. 
      5. The box is now sealed with tape and prepared for shipping.
      6. Multiple labels are added onto the outside of the box to notify the carrier of the fragile contents.

Systems with Nodes


      1. We start off by using one of our custom-made crates for systems with nodes.
      2. Next, two foam strips are inserted to protect the system from the bottom of the crate during transportation.
      3. Now that the crate is prepped, the system with the nodes is placed on top of the foam strips.
      4. On top of the system, a sheet of bubble wrap is placed.
      5. To secure the system, two narrow boards are nailed into the crate to keep the system in place. The remaining cables and supplies are added into the package. 
      6. The package is finally ready for shipment and the lid is nailed on top and labelling added.

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: https://thomastechllc.com today!