• United States

5 reasons to buy refurbished Cisco equipment

Apr 26, 20184 mins
Cisco SystemsComputers and PeripheralsNetworking

Shiny new Cisco equipment is appealing, but it is also pricey and could be overkill. Meanwhile, refurbished network equipment has many benefits you might be overlooking.

Network Networking Ethernet
Credit: Martyn Williams/IDGNS

It’s a pretty common scenario. You’re considering implementing Cisco hardware in your infrastructure, and you talk to a vendor who pushes a shiny, new, cutting-edge solution on you.

It’s impressive, this bleeding-edge solution — it has all sorts of bells and whistles (whether your business plan can make smart use of them or not) and it comes with a nice, healthy price tag.

So, you’re left with a really difficult question. Should you stretch your already thin budget with a solution that may actually be overkill for your needs? Or do you have options

5 things to consider when buying network hardware

Keep these five factors in mind as you consider how to proceed with your Cisco hardware solutions because that vendor who thinks you should buy new probably doesn’t want you to know them.

1. You can get a better warranty from refurbished Cisco equipment

Most new Cisco hardware comes with a standard 90-day warranty. Some products are longer, but that’s the standard. That’s not bad, but it’s certainly nothing to write home about.

On the other hand, it’s not uncommon to find quality vendors that offer a much better warranty on the pre-owned Cisco equipment they provide. You can even find some vendors that provide a lifetime warranty. If you could get a lifetime warranty with your Cisco hardware and guarantee yourself peace of mind throughout the life of the product, wouldn’t it make sense to consider?

2. Oh, and a better reliability rating

Most manufacturers won’t necessarily tell you the exact fail rate on new products. But if you look to vendors of used Cisco hardware, all of the good ones stand by their refurbishing process and tell you the reliability rating of their offerings.

Look for a reliability rating of 99.5 percent or better; that means the vendor is providing quality product and uses a process you can trust. Plus, good refurbished networking hardware vendors run their testing processes on every piece of hardware they sell. Most manufacturers, like Cisco, will only do spot checks on every 50th or 100th piece of hardware leaving their facility.  Where’s the reliability in that?

3. Most network hardware failures occur within the first 30 days of implementation

This fact is huge. Don’t think of a refurbished Cisco switch like you would think of a used car. That comparison just isn’t applicable here. Used cars take wear and tear and break down over time. That’s not really the case for used networking equipment. Once networking hardware is “burned in” and has been working flawlessly for a while, it pretty much stays reliable throughout its lifetime. This provides another added element of reliability.

4. Spares = peace of mind

“Hot, swappable spares! Get your hot, swappable spares here!” We’re yelling this out loud because they are the hottest thing (pun intended) around, and they simply can’t be beat.

Having spares on-hand and ready to take over should any malfunction occur just provides absolutely unrivaled peace of mind. But here’s the problem. How do you get spares if you’re going with that really expensive new Cisco hardware solution? You really can’t. Unless you have a somehow unlimited budget.

However, if you opt to utilize refurbished Cisco equipment with its reduced price, you could give yourself much better options when it comes to hot, swappable spares. And that’s just a happy thought!

5. SMARTnet is great, but it costs a lot

It’s easy to get caught up in the hype surrounding SMARTnet. It is a pretty great service offering. But you have to ask yourself if it’s possible to get another program that could cost you less but still provide the assurance you need to know you’re covered.

You can find replacement programs that will cost as much as 50 percent less than SMARTnet and provide next-business-day delivery of your hardware. It’s like getting one of the best attributes of SMARTnet without paying that big price tag.

Think about refurbished Cisco equipment

If there’s a moral to this story, it’s just that. It’s easy for vendors to simply push the big, expensive new Cisco solution, but if you opt to implement pre-owned Cisco equipment you can reap some real benefits.

You can get a solution that’s the right size for your organization and your unique business needs, not too big and not too small. You can be the boss of what your network infrastructure consists of and how much you can afford to spend on it. And any money saved on networking hardware can be re-allocated to other areas of your business that need it.


Frank Kobuszewski is vice president of the technology solutions group at CXtec. Being in the remarketing industry since 1988 and with the company since 1994has led him to serve on several technical committees including as a representative on the Anti-Counterfeit Committee for the Association of Service and Computer Dealers International and the North American Association of Telecommunications Dealers (AscdiNatd).

Frank has participated on podcasts and has been quoted in several industry trade publications and papers, the most recent being Gartner’s August 2017 network transceivers research paper, entitled “How to Avoid the Biggest Rip-Off in Networking.”

Frank is an experienced speaker and has presented at technology conferences across North America on strategies for maximizing IT budgets and asset recovery best practices, including at CAUCUS (Association of Technology Acquisition Professionals) and the annual NY Tech Summit. Most recently, he spoke at the Gartner IT Financial, Procurement and Asset Management Summit.

Frank received the “40 Under Forty” award from the Central New York Business Journal in 2000 for his business accomplishments and community involvement.

Follow Frank on Twitter and look for his posts on LinkedIn.