Many products become obsolete or passe over time due to the availability of newer products with technology improvements or of more attractive replacement products, or even due to intangible factors such as social fads or trends. I'd term these natural or unplanned obsolescence. But planned obsolescence is a scheme where a product is consciously designed, manufactured or offered with a limited lifetime. The motivation is obvious: the product bought this year will become obsolete within x years, so the customer will need to re-purchase the product at that time.
Perhaps you've recently heard something like this from your IPAM (aka DDI) vendor: "Sorry that version of software doesn't run on that version of hardware." Or "that version of product has expired as has your support. I guess you'll have to repurchase everything!"
While this may be sound strategy for growing top-line revenue as every sale today will be repeated in x years, it's not necessarily attractive to customers. In fact I'm surprised customers knowingly buy into such vendors. And that those who unwittingly do so, repurchase again when "support" expires. There are alternatives out there and perhaps it's time for another look when "hit" with a repurchase invoice from your vendor. In this economy, who can afford to buy the same product every x years?
I invite you to check out BT Diamond IP products and services as your support expiration approaches. If you have to purchase your IPAM infrastructure again, why not consider a vendor from whom you only have to purchase the product one time. There's no doubt that evaluating IPAM vendors and products is a laborious and tedious process, and vendors with a repurchase strategy are counting on the theory that it's easier just to repurchase than to re-open the evaluation process. Don't be taken advantage of! Go with vendors who will support their products!