End of Life (EOL) vs End of Service Life (EOSL) : What’s the Difference

End of Life (EOL) vs End of Service Life (EOSL) : What’s the Difference

Understanding End of Life (EOL) vs End of Service Life (EOSL) Support for IT Equipment

We often come across various clients especially business owners daily who are quite curious to know about EOL vs EOSL for IT equipment. Few of them are often mistaken as they keep utilizing the terms interchangeably. One needs to be aware that both the terminologies, end-of-life (EOL) and end-of-service life (EOSL) are different. Hence our technical team has contributed to this article so that more people are aware of both these terms and can make informed decisions for purchasing IT equipment as per their business requirements. This will even ensure that one doesn’t go overboard and spend more on the required IT Infrastructure. By the end of the article, we hope you understand what is the real difference between EOL vs EOSL today in the IT industry.

What is EOL?

In the IT industry, EOL generally stands for end of life, which simply means that the manufacturer of the corresponding IT equipment will stop manufacturing more similar units of the IT product once it is declared as EOL from a particular date. One must be aware that IT equipment can function well even after its End of Life (EOL) or its End of Service Life (EOSL) date is announced publicly. These IT hardware devices continue to function well after their EOL or EOSL date arrives despite the mayhem that awaits, according to the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) in the IT industry.

One does not need to pull the plug on the IT hardware because they have the option to extend the life of the equipment and save money by using third-party maintenance coverage. There is often a misunderstanding that EOL IT equipment is useless or cannot be used once it is declared as end of life.

What is EOSL?

End of Service Life (EOSL) is also referred to widely as End of Support. Phrases like these indicate that the OEMs have announced the end of services and updates for the corresponding servers, network equipment and storage. However, at this point, the OEM does not sell, provide updates or renew hardware support contracts on the systems. This is often done to the previous IT equipment, E.g. old servers, for the purpose of promoting their latest IT products. OEMs do this by supplying the latest IT equipment and giving the required support to this latest launched IT equipment in the existing market. They do this by announcing their previous versions with older configurations as EOSL.


Imagine that you get a message from the manufacturer of your hardware regarding the discontinuation of one of the most vital servers of your company. This notification can literally send you into panic mode, scrambling for a solution. You might even want to consider buying the latest server hardware to continue receiving their support. One might also worry that they may end up stuck and struggling with old, outdated equipment till you spend money on higher-ups or new hardware. Luckily, there are a lot of options available in the IT industry for this problem. That’s why many smart people who understand these terminologies often opt for server maintenance services from an experienced third-party vendor. The message that you receive from the manufacturer can even imply that your hardware is reaching stage two: End of Life (EoL) or End of Service Life (EOSL).

EOL implies that the manufacturer will no longer produce any more IT equipment. The OEM may have a new generation coming up or a completely different product they want to focus on, thus halting production allows them to focus funds on new developments. OEM still offers maintenance and post-warranty support and the firmware is stable at this point so you won’t have any updates or patches.

When the product reaches EOL, it’s advisable to put the hardware on the radar but you can still get many more years out of it, especially with the help of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM). Many people even opt for third-party maintenance for their existing IT infrastructure via an experienced vendor to save on the overall upgrade cost. Substantial hardware updates require capital so make sure the decision-makers know the potential replacement cost because advance notice makes the transition manageable when it comes to purchasing new hardware.

Another reason to stay on top of the life cycle is to maximize the overall resale value of the IT equipment. For example, you may have a product that currently has excellent resale value and if OEM announces that it is end of life (EOL), it loses value when the manufacturer stops offering the product, accessories and support. By staying up-to-date with EOL, you can appropriately gauge and plan for resale.

In EOL and EOSL, support is the biggest differentiating factor. The EOSL label is more final than EOL. At this stage, the OEM stops selling the product and does not offer maintenance or support. If they support the hardware, they may charge a handsome amount for the service. Firmware updates and patches are not seen in the product.

When EOSL approaches, hardware is likely to be out for a while and OEM may try to push a new technology or product line. By this time, you might also want to keep your new hardware in your sights. You can maximize the use for a while after EOSL but the product life will end up soon. Technology advances at the speed of light and depending on the hardware it might become outdated rapidly

Major Differentiating Factors for EOL (End-of-Life) and EOSL (End-of-Service Life)

Service offering and support are the main differences between EOL and EOSL products. By now you must be aware that OEM offers support for EOL products, but not for EOSL products. You’ll have to go through the TPM service provider for any kind of assistance after OEM cuts off products completely. Apart from the maintenance aspect, the terms End of Life and End of Service Life have close meanings. Both signal cutting ties of OEM’s support.

As discussed earlier, it is done to push marketing and development efforts for a new product by eliminating or reducing support for the existing product so they can convince companies to upgrade before it’s necessary.

OEMs are not service companies but they make a profit by turning new products and generating upgrades. They charge a high amount as their business model is not intended for long-term service and the higher prices of their latest IT equipment keep things profitable for them. They generally focus on creating and selling products, not servicing existing ones.

Hence one must be aware of the difference in EOL and EOSL, especially if they come from the IT industry. You can even save your crucial time and resources by opting for a third-party maintenance service provider like Zaco and make sure that you don’t exceed your existing vital IT budget on new servers, storage or networking equipment.

Our technical team has rich experience in resolving critical errors and bringing the servers back to life, ensuring no data is lost in the process with minimal downtime. If you own any EOL or EOSL IT equipment don’t worry, you can even opt for a customized maintenance plan according to your business at an affordable cost and expect the same service and support that you used to receive from the OEM before the equipment was declared as EOL. To know more, we recommend having a quick chat with our IT experts today.