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Wednesday, 6 January 2016

How to save on your HPE Support Contract

Enterprise support contracts are usually 20% of the list price (original software purchase price) each year. HPE is no exception, except that HPE internally have rules preventing them from discounting the support contract. So even if you get a deep discount for your initial purchase, you will still be paying 20% of whatever it would have been listed at.

Most Data Protector customers have had Data Protector for a long time. Many of my customers are just starting to head into their third decade of using it, so their support contract has probably cost 4-5 times as much as the initial licenses.

Support contract costs add up. Here's how to save on it:

KILL THE ZOMBIES! Confirm that all the products that you are renewing are still in use in your organisation. A lot of cruft can appear in a support contract. In particular, count up the number of online extension licenses and media agent licenses.

THE TIER DROP If you have had Data Protector for a while, you might have bought a cell manager license for HP-UX or Solaris, but you are now running it on Windows or Linux. The license will work, but you will be paying 3 times as much for it each year in renewal. Switching to a Linux or Windows cell manager can give a return on investment of 18 months.

ORACLE DROP Nearly as often, you might have bought a license for an online backup of Oracle on an HP-UX or Solaris box, but you have migrated your Oracle databases to run on Linux. Again, switching to a lower-tier integration license will pay itself off in less than 18 months.

RESTORE ONLY If you aren't using Data Protector that much any more, and you only have to perform restores -- but you still want to be supported, then Data Protector single-server edition is the cheapest support-contract-enabled product you can buy.

RETREAT ON THE ADVANCED BACKUP TO DISK LICENSES If you were using Data Protector before 6.21, you might have been using File Libraries, and you would have had enough licenses to cover the full size of your backup. With StoreOnce stores, the de-duplication will often mean that you only need a small fraction of what you were using before.

SWITCH CLASSIC TO CAPACITY If you have very little data but you do many integration backups: for example, you have dozens of SQL databases, are using VMware, but only have around 10TB of data, capacity licenses work out cheaper.

SWITCH CAPACITY TO CLASSIC This is very common situation for newer customers. You might have been sold a capacity license -- possibly at 90% discount -- and when you come up to renewal, you pay more in annual support renewal (20%) than the original license cost! When you add up the licenses for the functionality that you are actually using, it's often cheaper to buy classic licenses afresh.

CONSOLIDATE TO ONE CONTRACT Sometimes I find customers who thought they were supported who discover that only a part of their contract was renewed, or only one of two was renewed. This can lead to an expensive back-to-current renewal.

Anyway, if you want some help with this, send me a copy of your support contract ([email protected]) and let me look through it. I've seen enough of them to make sense of them now. (You can also request this online: -- use the discount code "FREE-REVIEW")

Greg Baker is an independent consultant who happens to do a lot of work on HP DataProtector. He is the author of the only published books on HP Data Protector ( He works with HP and HP partner companies to solve the hardest big-data problems (especially around backup). See more at IFOST's DataProtector pages at, or visit the online store for Data Protector products, licenses and renewals at