Feature

It can make sense to buy second-hand kit

A remarketed datacentre can cost between 30% and 90% less than a new one, enabling you to purchase systems with a much higher specification and of greater quality.

Many people assume that purchasing new IT equipment is the smartest choice to make, despite the large outlay involved. However, choosing remarketed datacentre equipment could be the most intelligent decision a business might ever make.

When a business considers buying or replacing IT equipment, it seldom contemplates opting for remarketed equipment. Unfortunately, remarketed IT equipment has been tarred with the same brush as secondhand cars.

This misconception is costing businesses vast amounts of money and many companies are instead prepared to spend thousands of pounds buying brand new hardware.

New kit can become so expensive for a business that capacity and quality is often compromised or adds extra strain to the budget.

However, investing in a remarketed datacentre can cost between 30% and 90% less than a new one, meaning businesses can purchase systems with a much higher specification and of greater quality.

For instance, a full server configuration for a N4000 server and licence to use HP-UX, including parts such as the processor support module, CPU, memory module and hot plug disc, would cost £99,101.

This total package would cost £43,500 for a business that chose remarketed equipment instead - a saving of 56% for exactly the same kit.

Alternatively, purchasing individual components can bring huge cost savings. For example, a 1Gbyte memory module would cost £2,114, but you could buy the same remarketed component for £720 - a 66% saving.

Another advantage of remarketed equipment is that it has already been road-tested in a live environment and, as a result, the failure and return rate of used equipment is less than 1%, meaning that remarketed equipment is much more reliable than new kit.

The range of available equipment within remarketed datacentre assets such as enterprise servers, storage and high-end networking equipment is vastly increased for companies that do n0t have the budget for the latest systems.

Investing in remarketed IT can increase output and efficiency because of the reduction in financial constraints. Buying new equipment can also accompany a long lead time and yet remarketed equipment is available immediately.

Support policies are important when purchasing IT equipment and some manufacturers offer identical terms for new and used equipment while others do not fully support used equipment. Consulting a specialist means businesses can choose whether remarketed systems may be ideal for developmental environments but less so for production systems, for instance.

There is also an environmental issue concerning disposal of IT equipment. The forthcoming environmental legislation Waste, Electronic and Electrical Equipment Directive will mean financial penalties for busin-esses not disposing of IT equipment in an environmentally-friendly manner. Buying remarketed equipment means an organisation is automatically contributing to environmentally sound practices.

Businesses would be well advised take these facts into account and realise how many benefits there are financially, technologically and environmentally, from using remarketed IT equipment.

Jeremy Parsons is operations director at IT recycling specialist SML

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This was first published in May 2004

 

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