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.
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.
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.
This article was originally published on Network World. You can find the original post here.