Tech Corner

How to Keep a Tab on EOL and EOSL for Hardware?

To ensure that your IT hardware is up to date and running efficiently, you must track when the equipment reaches End of Life (EOL) and End of Service Life (EOSL). These milestones in the lifecycle of your equipment are incredibly important as they will guide your infrastructure strategy. 

The last thing you need is an out-of-warranty and uncovered device failing. And with many IT assets, it’s easy to lose sight of these important milestones. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) typically retire hardware in a few years, introducing newer models. To navigate the asset’s post-expiry journey, you have to know at least when it’s expiring. 

This article discusses ways you can keep track of EOL and EOSL for your hardware and what you can do once it reaches these two milestones.

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What Are EOL and EOSL Dates?

EOL and EOSL are two distinct stages/milestones in the hardware lifecycle. EOL refers to the end of manufacturing and sale of the equipment. On the other hand, EOSL refers to the end of support or maintenance for the hardware. 

EOL and EOSL dates are typically announced together. However, the EOSL date can be three to five years after the EOL date. In other words, the manufacturer stops production and sale after the EOL dates but continues providing support until the EOSL date, often at a premium. 

The EOL and EOSL dates may be announced in just a couple of years from the initial announcement and sale of the equipment. 

Although EOL and EOSL announcements for hardware technically indicate that it’s time to refresh, that’s not necessarily the case. The EOSL date is more important than EOL as after this date, the OEM stops providing support like software updates or replacement of components. So you must find alternatives if you continue to use the equipment. 

Why Is It Important to Track EOL and EOSL?

The EOL and EOSL announcements are important to keep track of because you don’t want to get caught off guard if your hardware no longer has OEM support. More importantly, these dates are critical for planning infrastructure refresh cycles and allocating capital expenditures to replace equipment just in time. 

Remember that when your hardware reaches EOSL, it doesn’t mean it’s no longer functional. On the contrary, equipment may continue to be operational long after the EOSL date. However, you must devise alternatives like third-party maintenance (TPM) if you continue using it. 

Knowing when the support for hardware ends helps you plan the refresh timeline and avoid any delays. 

Where Can You Find EOL and EOSL Announcements?

OEMs typically announce EOL and EOSL dates up to six months before the intended EOL milestone goes into effect. For example, if a Cisco router reaches EOL on August 31, the company will announce the date six months before, i.e., around March 1. 

These official announcements are on the company website, typically in press release sections. However, they may also email the clients about the EOL and EOSL dates for particular hardware. So sign up for such emails directly with the OEM, especially if you rely on OEM support. 

Alternatively, you can manually check the status of your device coverage with the OEM or look up EOL announcements on their website. Many third parties also maintain a database for EOL/EOSL milestones for hardware. 

Here are the links for coverage checkers for major OEMs:

You’ll need the model number of your hardware to locate the EOL and EOSL announcements. You can find this on the device or your inventory/asset management tool. 

Another way to keep track of the EOL/EOSL dates or any other announcements relating to the hardware is to create a Google Alert for the particular model you’re using. The alert will bring any announcements or news articles related to the hardware directly to your inbox. 

Where Can You Find Warranty Information?

If you want to check the warranty status of your hardware, you can use some of the links above. You’ll need the serial number of the device in addition to its model number. The serial number on the device will give you accurate information about the warranty. 

Keep in mind that warranty is different from support/maintenance coverage. The warranty period is typically shorter and valid for new devices only. 

OEMs include a warranty for new devices to give time to discover any manufacturing defects. It can range from 30 to 90 days. 

What’s Next After EOL and EOSL?

Let’s talk about your options after an OEM announces EOL and EOSL milestones for hardware you use in your enterprise. When OEMs make these announcements, they’re basically saying it’s time to refresh. But the decision to refresh isn’t so simple (or cheap). 

The EOL date indicates they’ll stop making and selling a particular model. It doesn’t mean you need to replace it, as you still have support until EOSL. On the other hand, EOSL puts you in a bind, especially if you don’t need to or want to refresh the hardware in question. 

Fortunately, you can continue to benefit from the hardware past its EOSL with the help of TPM. You get the same support for maintenance you would get from the OEM, often at lower prices. That’s because OEMs that opt to offer maintenance after EOSL do so at high premiums. 

Besides TPM, your only other options are self-maintenance or no maintenance, which are far from ideal solutions. Unless you have the expertise to maintain the device, not hiring a third party to take the OEM’s place is risky. 

Maintain Equipment Past EOSL With OneCall

OneCall offers the maintenance bridge enterprises, such as data centers and service providers, are looking for when their hardware reaches EOSL. OneCall steps in to maintain the equipment after OEM stops support. It can be short-term or long-term, depending on your needs. 

Moreover, OneCall comes with OneHub, a dashboard that lets you manage all your maintenance contracts in one place. This platform is useful in keeping tabs on the end of the maintenance contracts or the end of support dates. 

Maintenance with OneCall is convenient and cost-effective. Using a proprietary ranking methodology, OneCall helps you make the right choice depending on the age of your hardware. So not only can you extend the life of your hardware, you can do so while saving money on maintenance. 

Learn more about how OneCall can help your enterprise!

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