End-of-Life Cisco Hardware - What Are Your Options?

3 options you have when the Cisco EOL date approaches

Has this ever happened to you? Your IT life is good. Your network is running smoothly. Then something or someone jostles something in your gray matter and you realize that some of your Cisco switches and routers are going end-of-life (EOL).  For instance, did you know it was recently announced that a whole bunch of Cisco switches are going end-of-life?  

When this happens, itdefinitely can be one of those “uh-oh” moments. In fact, many IT pros blurt out words that get bleeped on TV. Some just panic. 

Your Cisco hardware is going end-of-life.

You may be thinking to yourself, “But these switches and routers are working perfectly fine!”

Yeah, but what if something goes wrong? How will you get support? How are you going to make sure you have your bases covered? What do you do? What do you do?!

Don’t fear. There is no need for bleeps or panic. You have options.

3 Things You Could Do At Cisco End-of-Life Time:

  1. You could do nothing. – Roll the dice. Take some chances. That sounds exciting, eh? No, not really. This is probably not a good option. Information technology is not the place to leave things to chance. The manufacturers know this. This leads us to the next option.
  2. You could buy the latest and greatest switch or router that Cisco now deems worthy of support. Sure, your hardware is working fine, but Cisco’s scheduled end-of-life date says your switch is not going to get support any more. Looks like it’s time to replace the hardware that is in fine working order and incur the costs for the latest new models of Cisco hardware, just so you can get support from Cisco. Or…
  3. You could get support for your EOL hardware from an experienced, trusted network hardware provider. – This is a third option. Next business day (NBD) hardware replacement services are available from industry-leading pre-owned network hardware providers for your end-of-life Cisco switches and routers. The nice thing about these services is that they are a fraction of the cost of SMARTnet. If you are looking for even more options, you can also purchase low cost spares with fantastic warranties (sometimes as good as lifetime warranty w/ advance replacement). Between the NBD replacement services and low cost spares, you may be able to get all the support you need at a much lower cost.

Nobody knows your network and your business climate like you do. When the dreaded EOL date rears its head, you know your options. Does the situation warrant taking on the costs of brand new switches? Or would a low cost solution to support your current hardware be more appropriate? With economic uncertainty still looming, you will have to weigh your options carefully and decide for yourself. Choose wisely, my friend.

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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