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hardware maint. on time&materials?

> UGH! I'm coming under HEAVY pressure to minimize maintenance costs here!
> I've managed to convince them that software maintenance is MANDATORY but
> they keep hammering  me on  the hardware  maintenance.  (Symbolics  HAVE
> dropped the rule  of `no  software maint.   w/o hardware  maint.' haven't
> they?)
> What I'm being forced to consider  here is to maintain the  software but
> handle hardware failures on a time&materials basis (not self repair).
> If any of you have made this transition, I would like to know what
> experiences you've had; in particular:
>  1) Comparison of typical repair expenses to hardware maintenance contract cost.
>     Especially; What's a typical console repair cost?
>  2) Typical (and non-typical) response time for a time&materials
>     service call compared to an on-maintenance call?
>  3) Any other problems to be aware of?
> One point made was that for 3years maint on our 3670 we could by an
> XL400.  They of course forget about the color, disks etc, and if I ask
> `WOULD we buy an XL400?' the subject gets changed... oh well.
> BTW; any news about 24bit (or 32bit) color on XL400?

> Thanks; 
> Bruce Miller 
> miller@cam.nist.gov 

Based on the cost analysis of L-machine maintenance vs purchase of
XL400s we have opted to lease 5 new machines last year.   
Here is how the numbers break down:
	H/W maintenance for "typical" 3670/5 @ $15,000/yr
	H/W maintenance for "typical" 3640/5 @ $11,000/yr
Cost of new machines: XL400, 4MW + 760MB ESDI @ $75,000 nominal.  With a
trade in and a government discount you can probably get one at $55,000.
On a 36 months lease figure paying less than 0.0296.  So it comes out to
	$19,500/yr + about $4,000/yr H/W maint. for new machine.
However, you get the first 3 months of H/W maint. for free so subtract
$1,000 for year one.  Since lease rates have dropped, your total will be
under $21,000/yr for year one.

We figured that the price difference was worth the cost difference. Our
experience has been very positive; we are ordering several additional
XL400s this month. I would estimate that we will convert from L-machines
to I-machines machines at the rate of 6 to 12 machines per year this

Now about the "trade in".  Here is where you come out ahead.  Symbolics
has so many L-machines in its warehouse that when you "trade them in"
they actually will let you KEEP them.  Suppose you have 8 L-machines;
trade in 4 of them.  When the new machines come in, take the old
machines off of maintenance.  This will pay for the new machines and
you get one backup machine for each active L-machine.

My boss actually like (a modification of) this plan, so getting the new
machines was easy.  Since we were one of the first ones to trade in,
Symbolics did take away our old machines.  Hence, we do not have surplus
machines for backups, so we do pay maintenance on ALL.

As for G-machines, we decided to keep them. They are reliable and we are
actually buying a used one because it is real cheap.  For MacIvories and
UX400S we have purchased them outright instead of leasing.

Leslie A. Walko