Thursday, November 22, 2012

HP ProLiant G7 is Going End of Life, What's Your Game Plan?

As we’ve talked about before, in the technology world, it’s a tough break when equipment you depend on is made end-of-life (EOL) by the manufacturer. With HP ProLiant DL380 G7 and HP ProLiant DL360 G7 rack servers going end of life this month, and HP ProLiant BL460c G7 blade servers next month in December, this uncomfortable time of forced transition is upon us again. By design, the inventory strategy of HP’s distribution channel is to run completely out of G7 by the time of the EOL date. This is because HP wants the distributors fully stocked with Gen8, and their business model doesn’t allow them to sustain both G7 and Gen8 inventory.

As a result of the market constraint, your average reseller pricing for G7 servers will start to rise quickly because they don’t keep hardware in stock. Instead, they have to buy them from avenues such as stocking resellers (like Great Lakes Computer) in order to fulfill your orders, and then inflate the pricing even more so that they can make a living. That’s a tough situation for them to be in.

We, on the other hand, don’t have to work like that because we are a stocking reseller, which has allowed us to take a substantial inventory position to continue to supply our customers. However, this week we were informed by our suppliers that we have come up against the last inventory of G7 servers. This can be a major issue for customers who are standardized on G7 servers, and hope to continue to standardize on this server platform for the next year and beyond.

Another roadblock is that HP will now be pushing the more expensive Gen8 servers, and the majority of companies simply won’t have the budget for a datacenter server overhaul to the latest and greatest. Especially when just one generation back, the G7 servers were doing everything they needed them to do just fine.

And even if you do have the budget to make the leap to Gen8 servers, you may not be aware of some significant consequences that go along with the leap. For example, if someone is currently running a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 operating system or lower on their G7 server, and want to keep running that operating system, they will be unable to do so with a Gen8 server since they only run Windows 2008R2 and above. Also, since G6 and G7 had compatible components, you are probably used to having a supply of spares on hand that you’ve built up over the years. However, these will now be unusable because Gen8 servers are not compatible with G6/G7 components (with a singular exception– the power supply).

We’ve built our HP business on being able to successfully meet the needs of a variety of companies using the HP platform, whether the product is new or end-of-life. Since we’ve been through this many times before, we’re here to ease the pain for you so that you don’t have to feel like you’ve been left out in the cold by a manufacturer with their Gen8 blinders on.


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