Today the server which hosts our bug tracking system crashed due to hardware failure. Its been down all morning. Yesterday our main file server and domain controller crashed due to a faulty power supply. In both cases we spent extra money to purchase Compaq computers with support agreements rather than building our own for half the price. In both cases we were down for half a day while our own support people went to replace the failed parts themselves.
What's the point in paying the Compaq price premiums and support contracts if the business is still doing the support itself? My best guess is the business doesn't want to hire the quality of staff it needs to maintain its own computers, so it hires slightly lower quality staff who can replace a Compaq power supply via the pretty pictures in the Compaq instruction manual. We're just paying Compaq to give us pretty manuals instead of paying for some staff training.
At every other company that I've worked at in the past we've supported our own computer equipment. We generally had less down time and were able to afford faster disk drives, CPU, more memory, etc. for the same cash amount. As my earlier note today points out, spending a few more dollars on your disks can really decrease how much time your developers waste on a daily basis. (Yes, I'm waiting for a build to finish right now; its still going. sigh).