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Used Hardware?

Iron II
Iron II

Do any of you ever purchase used hardware from places such as eBay or a reseller? Do you have security concerns about it?


Rising Star III

When it comes to business critical, never. Warranty support trumps all. Right now, the problem is future support. While almost any machine even from the IvyBridge era of CPUs is powerful enough for today's basic usage; Win11 requiring TPM from the gen8 chips or newer or Ryzen Zen2 or newer pretty much makes it pointless to buy used right now.

Getting a used desktop machine that would support Win11 isn't even half the cost. I just don't think the ROI is worth it right now. When prices come back down it might make more sense though, like it used to.

As for security concerns. I'm going to wipe and image every machine anyway, typically going to load a more updated UEFI image as well, so not really. Worth poking to make sure someone hasn't installed a USB DOM or something though on the board.

Novitiate III

Agree 90%.  My only disagreement is about warranty.  Hot failover trumps warranty 100%.  Imagine if one of your vendors' services your org lives on went down and you called to find out why and they told you thing-X was down and they were waiting for a warranty repair guy to get there to replace it "same day" (versus telling you they were aware and working on it and here's your ticket number, which is all most vendors will tell you).  Do you think your Executives would care?  No, they just want it to work 100%.  Not 99.9998%-ISO6007-standards, but 100%!  Used or new, 100%.  If you're relying on a warranty to keep you functional, you didn't plan appropriately.

When you can get 3-4 used for what one new costs, you'll generally do better to distribute the load, have a redundant failover, and/or a hot spare vs even a few hours of downtime while you wait for a contractor (me) to show up to swap something out that we both know you could totally have done on your own.  Or save the $ and just run 2 and replace one if/when the first fails.  Just make sure you can keep supporting the security patches/updates and re-flash the heck out of the firmware/software even if it says it's already updated!

I ran a data center with just under 800 servers at my site for a global company you probably use right now and we ran our servers into the ground waaaaaaaay past warranty.  Either the software/firmware updates dried up and I couldn't find a better (safe) use for them or the energy/HVAC costs became so bad they weren't worth NOT replacing.  And then I cannibalized them for parts.

For a smaller client, oftentimes its either 2nd hand pro/commercial or new 'pro-sumer' grade, and only one either way, and tbh I'd rather have 2nd hand pro/commercial stuff most of the time that all the kinks are ironed out of already.

Novitiate III

wish there was an edit button...
ebay is a bit sketchy.  In the US, I like outfits like (just for example) with an established track record, that I've worked with for a long time, or that I KNOW the people working there - personally.

Community Manager Community Manager
Community Manager

There's an edit button for a limited amount of time. If you click the arrow on the right above the timestamp. 



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Rising Star III

We don't purchase computers / servers from eBay or any used sources. We do sell our old hardware through eBay though, which has been nice and usually sells pretty fast since our hardware isn't super old (4 years max for Mac computers, 3 years max for Windows computers). We run the Windows / Mac factory reset option that also resets the bits on the drive. We typically won't sell a computer that's owned by C-Suite, Accounting, or HR though. Too much of a risk, even if the likely hood is minimal,

The only thing I can think of that we purchased through eBay that was tech related was a cable that connects the Samsung frame TV to the box. It's absurdly priced new, so we just got it used for  ~ 80% off.