Last week I posted  ”No Limits Unitrends Cloud to Free Forever Infinite Hardware to New Appliances to New Features“, and after hearing from many of you, wanted to expand upon particular items mentioned in that post. I’ve already covered Five-Year Subscription Term, No Surprises on Support Costs, and am moving on to discuss our Hardware Refresh Programs, Forever Young Hardware with Capacity Guarantees.

Unitrends is now offering two new subscription program, Pledge and Pledge Plus, so that the hardware upon which our appliances are based remains “forever young.”  Both programs are designed so that you get a new appliance every four years as well as getting accelerated hardware-related services.  The Pledge Plus program pledges not only new replacement hardware, but that the replacement hardware will have at least double the capacity of the appliance that was originally purchased.

So what does this practically mean?  Well, one of the great things about technology is that there’s always new and better capabilities coming as time marches on.  The flip side of that of course is that older hardware is less capable than newer hardware.  In modern data protection, even if the raw storage capability stays the same, it is possible to more effectively utilize that raw storage capability more effectively when you have more processing power, more memory, better I/O, and the like.  And of course as new features are developed, these features typically work better (and sometimes only) on newer hardware due to the additional capabilities of that hardware.

One of the not so great things about hardware technology is that hardware ages.  There’s a phenomenon that is known as the bathtub curve (I’ve always known it as the washtub effect) which notes an increased failure rate at first with hardware, then a “sweet spot” where the failure rate is low, and then as the hardware ages an increasing failure rate.  In manufacturing, we use burn-in and other techniques to try to reduce the early life failures as much as possible; but the fact is that as hardware gets four years old the failure rate tends to increase.

We invented Pledge and Pledge Plus by answering the questions our customers have been asking – fundamentally, how can we help our customers have increased data protection availability?  The first step was offering next-business day shipping on replacement parts and whole units.  This isn’t as simple as it sounds – we have to carry inventory for all of our appliances and various appliance configurations and update that inventory constantly – but it’s important for customers who wish to have data protection availability.  The second step was answering the desire of customers to have forever-young hardware.  Both Pledge and Pledge Plus address this through offering a fourth year hardware upgrade.  And the third step was asking ourselves how we could help our customers handle the explosive growth in data that they report seeing (and every industry analyst confirms.)  The Pledge Plus program addresses this through providing at least double the capacity (the usable capacity) of the originally purchased appliance.

Thanks for reading.  And as always, looking for feedback and discussion on this or other subjects.