How do you know when to upgrade your network equipmentUpgrade 

A word that used to represent the luxury of getting something better, something new.   Now, upgrade has become more of an inevitability than a luxury. With technology evolving at the speed of light, upgrading has become necessary to keep all of your devices running on par with the rest of the world.


We have all encountered that person who hasn’t upgraded… you know to windows 10, or still runs IOS 6 on their Iphone apalled facesor dare I say still carries a flip phone!   The first thing we say to them is something along the lines of “Why do you still use that? You need to upgrade!”  And you’re right, they do need to upgrade.  Even if they choose not to upgrade now, eventually technology will force their hand and they will have to.


In these instances it is obvious to you, the tech savvy individual that these people need to get with the times.   However, not all technologies evolve at the same lighting pace, and sometimes it is not so obvious when an upgrade is essential.   This is especially true when it comes to data center equipment.  Manufacturers like to discontinue or End of Life (EoL) items way before their shelf life is up, blurring the line between when you can upgrade and when you really should.    This makes it much more difficult to recognize when your servers, switches, routers and firewalls really need to be replaced with their later and greater counterparts.


Here are a few sure fire indicators that a network equipment upgrade is eminent


not compatibleIncompatibility:  One of the first real signs that your equipment has truly become legacy and is no longer relevant to the current technology landscape is when you find that it is not compatible with current technology.  Meaning your router or switch is unable to run the most current software or work with newer equipment.   Once you have hit the wall of incompatibility, your hands are tied and you have to consider replacing the unit with a newer model.


equipment failure rates increase as equipment agesConstant failure:  Not only is this a true indicator but it is an irritating one at that.  When equipment starts to get up there in age, you know around 8 to 10 years old, it really starts to show. Unlike the 100 year old type writer in your grandmother’s attic, technology today is not made to last forever.  There is really no need for OEMs to manufacture routers and switches to live forever, when everyone knows that they will only be relevant for 10-12 years at best!  Servers and firewalls that are past their prime will begin to malfunction more and more until you are unable to go an hour without some type of failure.  When this happens, the best thing you can do for your network and your sanity is to upgrade!


sold out everywhereInability to find replacements: During the life of your network equipment, you will notice that every router, switch and firewall has a specific period of time, a “golden age” if you will, for finding readily available replacements when they are needed.   Once that period of time ends, and the equipment truly becomes legacy, finding a replacement unit or part for a unit becomes nearly impossible.    If you purchase your equipment trusted network equipment reseller, you will be much more aware of the end of this era than you would if you use sources like Ebay to purchase your equipment.   Your trusted used Cisco Dealer will make it a point to let you know when equipment replacements are becoming scarce and often times offer you an alternative option that will meet all of your needs.


scaleMaintenance costs outweigh the cost of buying new:  Every piece of equipment in your data center comes with a maintenance cost.   If you are a diligent buyer, you have already factored that into the total cost of ownership when you purchased the equipment.  However, as your equipment ages, the amount you will spend on maintenance will skyrocket.  Why?  The answer is simple.   The older a piece of equipment is, the more failures it will have.  This equates to more calls to tech support, longer extensions needed on your maintenance contracts and eventually, as they become scarcer, higher cost for replacement units.  When you are spending more money and more of your precious time trying to fix equipment failures that you do running your data center, it is time to throw in the towel and buy some new equipment.


The reality about upgrading is that it is no longer something that is nice to have the ability to do.  For many, knowing how and when to upgrade can be tricky and sometimes even a little frightening.   The best thing that you can do in the face of a system upgrade is to arm yourself with knowledge.  Doing research on your equipment; finding out if it has been EoL’d by the manufacturer, what the replacement(s) are and tracking your maintenance spending are great ways to get started.

Remember that there are a number of trusted network equipment dealers who are more than happy to help you in your research!

Contact us CTA

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