The demand for repair of components for foreign servers and data storage systems has grown fivefold over the year, which is why companies are expanding specialized centers, market participants told Kommersant. According to them, the most in demand is repair of equipment from Nvidia, HPE, Supermicro and a number of other brands, since the companies do not have official support and do not supply components to the Russian Federation. However, experts do not see much prospects for this segment, believing that “trust in Russian manufacturers will gradually grow.”
In 2023, the demand for repairs of hard drives, tape drives, controllers, motherboards and other components of foreign computer technology increased five times year on year, managing partner of Mobius Technologies (engaged in maintenance of IT infrastructure) Mikhail Sizov told Kommersant. . In his opinion, the rise is associated with “sanctions pressure and problems in the logistics of equipment supplies.” “Last year, 80% of our requests for repairs occurred in the second half of the year. We plan to develop this area, expanding the list of components that we can restore,” says the top manager, adding that there are either no new components on the Russian market, or they are sold at an inflated price, and delivery takes too long.
According to Mr. Sizov, by the end of 2024, the market for computer equipment repair services for the corporate sector will amount to “billions of rubles.” Based on the results of 2022, the demand for repair services for consumer electronics has already increased in the Russian Federation (see “Kommersant” dated February 16, 2023). In 2023, the demand for repair of household appliances also increased (see “Kommersant” dated September 22, 2023).
Director of the Promobit company (manufacturer of servers and storage systems Bitblaze) Maxim Koposov confirms the growing demand for the repair of spare parts for computer equipment for the corporate sector. The most in demand, according to him, is the repair of motherboards, controllers, power supplies and other equipment from Mellanox, Supermicro, HPE, etc. The trend is facilitated by the lack of guarantees from vendors in the Russian Federation, explains Mr. Koposov: “Suppliers have a choice - either pay additional VAT and transportation of equipment to other countries where there is official support from the vendor, or independently carry out repairs within the country.” In Russia, there are no spare parts for storage system servers and other equipment from vendors who monitor the supply of their products to the Russian Federation, for example, the American Nvidia, market participants note.
According to Alexander Mukhortov, head of Treolan’s enterprise solutions department, demand is associated not with the lack of spare parts, but with their high cost: repairs are cheaper than complete replacements. Fplus Service (part of the Fplus IT holding) believes that in the Russian Federation there are problems with the availability of components for the equipment that was supplied before the imposition of sanctions: “There is enterprise-level equipment, produced and supplied in single copies, its path is tracked with the moment we receive an order for production, there really are no spare parts for it and it is impossible to repair the components.”
In the last two years, Russian customers have been trying to immediately buy not only the storage systems and server platforms themselves, but also additional spare parts (power supplies, controllers, etc.), creating a stock of components, notes Pavel Kulakov, founder of the data center and cloud provider Oxygen.
According to Mr. Kulakov, companies continue to purchase foreign storage systems because of the software, which continues to be trusted for storing and processing critical data. At the same time, he does not believe in the great potential of service support for foreign equipment, “since the level of trust in domestic solutions is gradually increasing and customers will be able to turn to the vendor directly for service support.”