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Ynvolve - EOL, EOSL, and EOS – What’s the difference?

In this article, we take a closer look at the differences and similarities between these terms to give you a better understanding of what they mean for your business and IT infrastructure. Read the article below. 

The terms EOL, EOSL, and EOS are often used interchangeably in the IT industry, but their specific meanings deserve greater attention.   

They are all dates, issued by the Original Equipment Manufacturers, or OEMs, that signify when and how the OEM’s relationship with a piece of hardware will change at certain stages in its lifecycle.   

These changes have consequences for how the OEM will support and update equipment as it progresses in its lifespan. Therefore, it’s important for businesses to be clear on what each term means, so they can make well-informed decisions on their spending for hardware maintenance and replacement.  

In this article, we take a closer look at the differences and similarities between these terms to give you a better understanding of what they mean for your business and IT infrastructure. It’s important to keep in mind that some vendors may use some variations of these acronyms. 

 

What is the difference between EOL, EOSL, and EOS?  

EOL, end of life, is the date from which the OEM regards your equipment at the end of its manufacturing life and is discontinued.  

 

After the EOL date, the OEM:   

• will not manufacture, market, or sell your equipment.   

• limited development of firmware, software patches, or upgrades.   

• continues to offer post-warranty hardware maintenance, but at a higher price and for a limited period (around 5-6 years).  

 

EOS, end of sale, is the date from which the OEM will no longer sell your equipment. This term is often used interchangeably with EOL and EOA.  

 

EOSL, end of service life/end of support life, is the date from which the OEM ends its provision of all support for your equipment.   

 

After the EOSL date, the OEM:   

• halts provision of technical services and software updates for server, storage and network equipment.   

• will not renew, sell or upgrade hardware maintenance contracts (support).  

 

How do I access my equipment’s EOL/EOSL date?  

EOL and EOSL dates may be emailed to you directly by the manufacturer or appear on their website. Alternatively, you can find them by searching for your equipment by product, model, or part number on this EOL and EOSL database.  If your equipment will reach or has reached EOL and/or EOSL dates and you are planning on the next steps for your equipment, check out how Ynvolve can help extend your IT’s lifecycle. 

 

Why do OEMs issue these dates?  

Even though the manufacturer may provide maintenance up to the EOSL date, the primary focus of the OEM’s business model is to sell new iterations and generations of equipment.   

Each date acts as further incentive to upgrade your hardware according to the manufacturer’s timescale, by increasing the costs of maintenance, technical support, and software updates, and reducing their availability. Looking after old equipment through the OEM becomes more costly and complex, and eventually impossible.   

 

Do I need to replace my equipment when it reaches its EOL/EOSL date?  

While receiving a notification that your equipment is reaching its EOL/EOSL date may cause concern, it’s important to remember that these dates are by no means hard-and-fast predictions of when your equipment will fail or even slow down.   

If your equipment is functioning well, an EOL/EOSL notice can have little effect on the day-to-day capabilities of your hardware and its role within your business. However, it is a good opportunity to assess your system’s current performance and explore other support options independent of the OEM. Fortunately, there are various services that will prioritize the health of your equipment.   

One option is partnering with a third-party maintenance provider. A major advantage of partnering with a TPM provider is the simplicity with which they manage multi-vendor infrastructure past EOL/EOSL date, consolidated into one single maintenance contract. By forward stocking parts and using the diagnostic expertise of engineers certified by the OEMs themselves, businesses can access maintenance of the same quality as that of the manufacturer, but at costs up to 80% lower.  

 

Why do these dates matter to my business?  

In the past, for data centers, these dates would have indicated hardware budget hits. Even now, it can’t hurt to be mindful of their meanings to understand how OEMs will support your equipment during its life.   

Most of the time, however, it pays to listen directly to your hardware to gauge its health, rather than announcements made at the discretion of manufacturers, for whom sales generation is the top priority.   

Understanding that these terms can be misleading also offers your business the opportunity to align its actions with the needs of the planet by partnering with services that prioritize repair, reuse, and recycling.   

 

For how long can I support my equipment after its EOL/EOSL?    

All equipment should be treated on a case-by-case basis; just as the manufacturers cannot predict a certain cut-off for the functionality of your equipment, it’s impossible to predict an exact lifespan.    

At EOL, the manufacturer will still offer hardware support, but at a much higher price than before that date.  At EOSL, most often manufacturers will not offer any hardware support but may provide some via a third-party maintenance provider.     

By using repair and refurbishment services, such as TPM, the equipment can continue to perform for several years to a decade after their EOL or EOSL dates.    

 

What sustainable options are there for equipment at EOL/EOSL?  

Third-party maintenance is one sustainable option to support equipment after EOL/EOSL. TPM providers offer substantial economic benefits, and often times are environmentally friendly. Although this may not be the case in all instances, opting for TPM will often extend the useful life on your equipment, allowing it to perform for longer and reducing the e-waste produced by replacement. Some maintenance providers, such as Ynvolve, can help assess your equipment by taking into account its performance, security, the cost factors involved and possible dependence on running application requirements. And subsequently, advise you on the right move for your equipment.   

TPM oftentimes is a win-win solution for data centers, who receive on-demand and cost-effective care for their hardware, with the knowledge that they are (under certain conditions) reducing their impact on the planet by creating less demand for new equipment, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and resource consumption.  

Services that reuse and recycle old equipment are another sustainable option once repair has been exhausted and your equipment has reached its limit for performance.  

Ynvolve’s Buy Back as a Service (BBaaS®) program buys obsolete equipment to reuse and recycle, helping your business generate extra revenue and maximize the return on its hardware investment. By giving your equipment new life instead of sending it to landfill you’ll also be contributing to the circular IT economy, reducing e-waste and freeing up resources to be channeled into areas of growth and innovation.   

 

What if I do not need to refresh EOL/EOSL hardware?  

If you have determined that your EOL/EOSL hardware doesn’t need a refresh, Ynvolve can maintain your equipment with our various support SLAs. However, if you are still considering a refresh of your equipment, our team of experts can also help you optimize your infrastructure based on your business needs. Our team works with your budget and technology requirements.  

 

Conclusion 

When OEM issue EOL or EOSL dates, it’s important to remember that these are by no means hard-and-fast predictions of when your equipment will fail or even slow down. Your decision of refreshing your IT infrastructure should be determined by its fit for purpose, meaning its current functionality for your business. So, before making any changes you should ask yourself these questions:  

• What’s the purpose of this asset within my infrastructure? 

• With that purpose in mind, is my equipment functioning well?  

• Are there any negative changes to the performance of my equipment, due to it being EOL/EOSL?  

Based on the answers, you can determine the next steps for your IT infrastructure it would be refreshing it or even giving it a new life. 

More businesses are opting for agile approaches to hardware investment through services like TPM and buybacks, such as BBaaS®, which offer cost-effective and eco-friendly options to extend the lifecycle of equipment well beyond EOL/EOSL dates through maintenance services, refurbishment, reusing or recycling. 

With further pressure on companies from ESG criteria to reduce their long-term impact, the unsustainable expectation of refreshing hardware every 6 years or so is starting to catch up with the OEMs too, and it seems inevitable that we will see further shifts and innovation in this area of IT.  

At Ynvolve, we focus on determining if the assets are fit for purpose and based on your needs, we provide the necessary support for your equipment. This could be through our support SLAs or by refreshing or upgrading your equipment. To learn more about how we can help, feel free to reach out. 

 


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