Earth Day is April 22, and this time of year definitely gets us thinking about how we can better “go green” and institute environmentally-friendly corporate policies.
Turns out one of the best ways we can do just that is by extending the life of our network hardware. But that’s not the only smart reason to extend product life cycles.
Check out the top 5
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, “A large number of what is labeled as ‘e-waste’ is actually not waste at all, but rather whole electronic equipment or parts that are readily marketable for reuse or can be recycled for materials recovery.”
This quote certainly can refer to network hardware. Just because one user no longer has a use for a certain product, that doesn’t mean that other users can’t find value in that hardware. There’s no need to de-commission equipment that could still be used. Especially when you consider these statistics from the Electronics Take Back Coalition: “It takes 539 pounds of fossil fuel, 48 pounds of chemicals, and 1.5 tons of water to manufacture one computer and monitor.”
Granted, those figures are for a PC, but they’re probably not much different for the manufacturing of network equipment. The bottom line is that creating new hardware is not good for the environment either. So utilizing refurbished or used networking equipment is a great idea.
Lots of times people will have this misguided concept that if they use refurbished network hardware instead of new, they have to sacrifice quality and reliability. To this we say… well, we were going to say, “Poppycock,” but we thought it might make us sound old.
Instead we’ll just say, “That’s so untrue!” If you choose quality refurbished networking equipment, you get hardware with a reliability rating superior to new equipment. How does that happen? Simple. A reputable vendor doesn’t spot-check one out of every 50 or 100 units like a manufacturer might; they will rigorously test every device.
And that testing leads to a very reliable offering.
Another misconception we often see is that people sometimes feel that if they use refurbished hardware then they lose the option of having a maintenance program. Once again, this simply isn’t true.
Reputable vendors back their refurbished hardware offerings with the option of a quality maintenance program. When they believe in their own offering, it’s easy to provide a program to back it up. And the best part is, these programs can save you a lot of money over traditional OEM maintenance. Which brings us to our next reason.
Utilizing refurbished hardware to maintain your current investment maximizes the return on your investment. All that saved money can be extended to other areas of your business to help provide competitive advantages.
Hey, you could even implement a spares program to gain the ultimate insurance for uptime. The affordability of refurbished equipment makes a program like this attainable.
You’ve spent years honing your network to suit your business needs. Why would you now let the manufacturer force you into a forklift upgrade with all new equipment that you might not even need?
If your infrastructure is working for you, then it should be business needs and competitive opportunities that drive your upgrade schedules, not the mandates of manufacturers. Extending your technology life cycles gives you the time and the means to move at your preferred pace.
Never feel forced to move into a technology solution you don’t need, or you’re not comfortable with yet. Once you know you have reliable, reputable partners who can help you maintain your current investment, you’ll find incremental upgrades when and where you prefer them will provide confidence and peace of mind.