Does my business need a server warranty?
Every business with a server should have a server warranty for the life of that server as standard best practice. Servers are the core of any IT network and as such, a failing server can cause extreme detriment to your business, making it paramount that you purchase an adequate server warranty.
Why do I need a server warranty?
A server warranty is required to cover your business if the server fails. The server is the core element of your network and therefore your business from a technology perspective. Should it fail, it is likely that your business will be unable to operate in its normal fashion, if at all. When such a key element of your business fails, it is paramount to get it back up and running in the shortest period of time possible, to limit any losses. Whilst the server is down, not only are you paying your employees whilst their productivity grinds to a halt, you are unable to provide your customers with the service you usually provide them with, which can cause further reputational damager. All in all, this makes a server warranty an incredibly important purchase for all businesses with an onsite network.
What do I look for in a server warranty?
Most servers will come with a warranty as standard, as per usual selling practice, but in addition to this, your IT support company will often offer you the opportunity to purchase an extended warranty. This sort of practice has been given a bad name by the nature of warranties sold in the retail world. Whenever you purchase electrical goods, you’re often presented with the option to purchase a warranty, and many wonder why they’re required. After all, how often does a television fail or get damaged? Besides, can’t it be covered by house insurance anyway? Despite being essentially the same product, things are very different in the commercial world when compared to home, especially when it comes to server warranties, which are a lot more important than the warranty you might buy to protect a television.
The reason an IT company will offer an extended server warranty is that a standard warranty isn’t likely to give you adequate cover for all eventualities. Firstly, a standard server warranty is likely to cover the server for just the first 12 months. Whilst there are exceptions to this, you want your server warranty to last for the lifetime of the server. As with any hardware, the older it gets, and the more it is used, the more likely it is to fail or have a problem, increasing the need to have a warranty in place. You may need to purchase additional server warranties to cover this as they expire, but the longer your server warranty is, the fewer renewal dates you need to remember – just remember to keep the renewal dates in your diary!
In addition to this, a basic server warranty may not cover your server in a way that you’d expect. It is always prudent to check what a server warranty actually covers, so you know if you can rely on it in the event of a disaster. Don’t ever assume the server warranty will cover something or assume you know what a particular term means. Always check the definitions.
For example, is the warranty ‘next day’ or ‘next business day’? Whilst a next business day server warranty sounds good, in reality, that could be four days should the fault occur on a Friday afternoon. If your business operates over the weekend, you could struggle to operate in such a situation.
Similarly, some server warranties don’t offer onsite fixes, meaning the manufacturer will only try to fix the issue remotely. Whilst remote IT support has many benefits, in an urgent situation in which a server has failed, it can be easier and quicker to get an IT engineer to site to fix the issue in person. It is likely that you will want this covered. You will also want to consider what process needs to occur before someone can look at your server. Does the server warranty require a series of remote tests to be carried out before someone will look directly at the issue or can a specific diagnosis be carried out in person?
It is important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all server warranty that you need to purchase. You need to consider the needs of your business and the requirement of your server or servers. In what sort of time span do you need a fix in worst-case scenarios? How long can you feasibly wait for a replacement server? Similarly, what is the server being used for? Is it part of a bigger ecosystem that can take the strain in the event of a failure?
Work closely with your IT support company to ascertain your requirements for your server and the best server warranty to support those needs. It is important to review any time, financial, and productivity losses you will incur should you lose access to a server, either due to failure or as a result of the server being taken offline for a fix to be applied.
Server warranties are important, but so are other hardware warranties.
Many businesses keep on top of their server warranties and whilst they may never be required, server warranties ensure businesses always have the protection in place should something go wrong. However, one thing that can be overlooked, given the importance of a server in a network, is that other components of the IT infrastructure can also fail. Therefore, you may wish to have those pieces of hardware under warranty too.
For example, are there key switches in your network that should they fail, would make access to your server impossible? Do you have a plan to cope with this and other similar eventualities? Given network components don’t usually cost the same as a server, you may have failover alternatives in place, but it may be worth considering hardware warranties if such components are particularly important to your network and way of doing business.
Again, a proficient IT support company should be able to review your network and pinpoint any areas of concern for which you may want to consider additional coverage. Similarly, laptops and desktop computers can be covered with warranties, although just like a server warranty you want to be sure that these warranties match your needs. Laptops and computers are much easier to replace and usually not as integral to the everyday practice of the business. However, without a machine to work from an employee is usually not able to get on with the requirements of their role.
As with server warranties, if you are considering a warranty for a laptop or computer, make sure you understand what the warranty will provide should it berequired and how that works in reality. Is it a required protective measure and expense or can you resolve the issue in a more timely and costly manner with the use of an IT support desk for example?
In summary, when it comes to a server warranty they are strongly recommended. In fact, we suggest that you have a robust server warranty for every server. However, warranties are only as good as the fine print. Therefore, if you’re purchasing a warranty for a server or any other piece of hardware, you must consider what the appropriate level of coverage is in relation to risk and the role that piece of hardware plays within your business.