If you deal with your company’s network and your preferred manufacturer for switching and routing is Cisco, you probably will relate to the following hypothetical situation. Life is good. The sun is out. The coffee is fresh. You are busy with projects. Then something reminds you that those Cisco routers and/or Cisco switches are going to be end-of-life (EOL) soon.
Hearing that your Cisco equipment is going end-of-life isn’t something most people want to hear. Even the name is a little scary. Often times, it freaks people out a little bit. After all, you have to make sure the needs of your network (and your back side) are covered. So people ask themselves the logical question.
Does End-of-Life Cisco Mean the End of the Line for Your Routers and Switches?
Good news. Cisco end-of-life does not necessarily mean you need to get rid of your routers or switches and buy the newest similar model Cisco hardware. In fact, there’s a good chance that you can keep what you have in place and extend the life cycle of your network hardware.
If you find that your Cisco equipment is reaching a point that it will be deemed end-of-life, you do have options. You have established that your equipment is serving your business well and it doesn’t make sense to spend more money on new replacements.
Here are some options for you that may help you save some money and support your end-of-life Cisco.
- Hardware maintenance and hardware replacement services – You can find alternatives to Cisco SMARTnet that will support you even after your hardware is end-of-life. There are programs, such as CXtec’s RapidCare, that will provide next business day replacement services for your legacy Cisco equipment. It is an extremely valuable service that enables you to keep your network up and costs down.
- Low cost spares – Let’s say you have some Cisco switches in place. If they go down you may need an immediate fix. In this case, you can purchase some reliable spares. You can purchase high quality pre-owned Cisco switches and routers with a very high reliability rating at a fraction of the cost of upgrading to the latest brand new Cisco.
- A combination of maintenance and spares – A great way to balance cost and support is to have a blend of maintenance and spares. This will allow you to protect yourself against any urgent problems that might be caused by down time and provide a general blanket of coverage and peace of mind.
So, when you hear the words “end-of-life” just know it doesn’t always mean the end of the line for your equipment. Stop, take a breath and think about what you really need. Then look at your options. You may find that you can confidently extend the lifecycle of your Cisco hardware and save some money along the way.