Many IT directors and systems admins returned to the office only to find themselves with a long list of challenges to address – like projects they had to put on hold or server and storage equipment suddenly nearing its end-of-life timeframe.

Now, because of COVID-related supply chain delays, it’s harder to get your hands on a broad range of hardware, including servers and storage equipment. In fact, some companies face 12-18 month waits for the new equipment they need. 

But that lead time doesn’t work if you’re:   

  • Growing and you’ve added more employees and need more servers or storage to support the increased workload.
  • Experiencing a sudden increase in demand for your products or services, and you need to support the increased traffic or data requirements.
  • Launching new projects or initiatives and need to expand your infrastructure to support them.

So, what are companies supposed to do if they need an upgrade? Many are exploring alternative selling channels for the first time, including refurbished servers and storage equipment.

What are refurbished servers and storage equipment?

Before we dig into benefits, let’s use the same language to refer to equipment. In general, companies have three options:  

  • New – this equipment comes directly from the manufacturer and includes a warranty.
  • Recertified – this equipment is like new but was overstocked, used as displays at a trade show or other event, or was returned or the order was canceled. This gear can’t be sold as new but still qualifies for a manufacturer-provided warranty from day of purchase as if it were a brand new in an unopened box (e.g., Dell, Cisco, HPE).
  • Refurbished – this equipment was purchased and used by another company. Then, they sold it into the secondary market to a reseller like Summit 360 that refurbished the equipment before putting it back up for sale.  

Summit 360 is unique because we’re a hybrid and offer all three equipment categories.

What are the biggest benefits of refurbished servers and storage equipment?

In our 30 years of working with mid-sized businesses, we’ve found companies consider the refurbished route for three primary benefits:

Benefit #1: Cost

Refurbished IT equipment can be significantly less expensive than new equipment, making it an attractive option for companies looking to save money on their IT expenses. In fact, for those on a very tight budget, the lower price point on refurbished gear may be the only way for them to get the newer equipment they need.

While costs vary, you can expect to pay the original retail price for refurbished servers and storage equipment.

Benefit #2: Availability

In terms of availability, there are two significant considerations. Right now, long lead times mean that it’s hard to get your hands on equipment. Since refurbished gear is already in the marketplace, it can be sourced quickly – sometimes within days.

Relatedly, certain models of IT equipment may no longer be manufactured at all. This makes refurbished equipment the only option for those looking to purchase it.

Benefit #3: Quality

Many refurbished IT products are professionally restored to their original condition and come with warranties so that you can feel confident in their quality and reliability. Think of it this way: new equipment gets tested once – at the time of production. When purchased from a reputable source, refurbished equipment can be tested up to three times (i.e., at production, when the reseller purchases it, and at the point of resale).

What should I look for in a refurbished equipment vendor?

If you’re considering refurbished equipment for the first time, here are some things to consider and questions to ask of potential vendors:

  • Warranty – what type of warranty do they offer? Is it included in the purchase price? Or is it an additional line item? (For reference, Summit 360 provides a lifetime warranty on all of our refurbished equipment, and it’s included in the price.)
  • Sourcing – where do they source their equipment from?
  • Refurbishing process – do they have a standard refurbishing process to ensure the quality of their gear? (Here’s our process.)
  • Data security – what steps do they take to protect data security?
  • Manufacturer relationships – do they offer only certain manufacturers? Or are they brand agnostic? (That’s how Summit 360 operates if you’re curious).  
  • Support – do they offer any support or maintenance services? (We offer an optional add-on service package to those who want it.)
  • Service – do you have a single point of contact or get stuck in a phone tree? Are they responsive? Do they quote and deliver quickly?

A 360 approach to refurbished IT hardware 

We’re one of the few vendors in our industry that take a hybrid approach (refurbished, recertified and new) to equipment sales, and the reason is simple. We want to offer our customers as many options as possible.

Over the last 30 years, we’ve developed trusted relationships with a network of partners that can quickly source even hard-to-find servers and storage equipment. If you’ve returned to the office only to find it harder than ever to get the gear you need, let’s talk.

Our step-by-step refurbishing process ensures you’ll receive all the benefits we covered here without introducing unnecessary risk into your environment. Plus, we’ll put our service against anyone in the industry. You can count on us for shortened lead times, easy quoting and live support.

We’re ready when you are. Contact us today