By: Reliant Technology

When a particular vendor schedules hardware for End of Service Life, it can be a difficult time for the customers who use those products on a daily basis.

Not only do you have to worry about what that means for the future of your EMC or NetApp products, but you also have a variety of different dates to keep track of in your head. EOSL, EOL, EOS and EOA are all abbreviations that are incredibly important to know. Keeping track of exactly what these abbreviations mean will go a long way towards helping you make the right decisions moving forward. So what exactly is the difference between all these different terms?

EOSL is also commonly referred to as End of Service Life. Essentially, it means that a company like EMC will no longer be providing technical support and other types of support services after this particular date. Though it is still possible to get manufacturer support after an EOSL date, customers in need are usually charged premium prices.

EOL stands for “End of Life,” which essentially means that a vendor like EMC has decided that the product in question has reached the end of its “useful lifespan.” After this particular date the manufacturer will no longer be marketing, sustaining and (in most cases) selling the product in question.

EOS stands for “end of sale.” As its name suggests, it is a date after which you will no longer be able to purchase the product in question directly from a manufacturer like NetApp or EMC. Even though you may still be able to get the product through other third-party vendors, the product itself will no longer be offered from its original company as it had been in the past. This is also commonly referred to as EOA, or “end of availability.”

Enterprise customers can choose a few different techniques when a particular array reaches End of Life status. The first involves purchasing extended support, which usually comes in six month increments for a total period of two years. Employing third party providers for the same support may be more ideal, however, thanks largely to the fact that businesses can save anywhere between 50% to 80% of the cost while still arriving at the same benefits. The major benefits of third party extended support include rapid service, access to expert support professionals and the ability to both meet and (in many cases) exceed the terms in the original provider’s service level agreement.