STOP! Before you upgrade to the latest and greatest... do you really need it?

By Dave Brenon, Sr. Product Manager

When it comes to purchasing networking equipment, you will find the OEM always pushing the latest and greatest – whether you need it or not. More than often, most organizations end up paying for features they don’t need or use.

Knowing your options during the buying process is imperative to saving money and optimizing budget spend. Now more than ever, IT pros are leveraging the secondary market to reap its many budget benefits.


Let’s talk about some of those options for Cisco edge switches. Here are some important questions to ask before upgrading to the latest and greatest:

  • Do you need Layer 3 on the edge?

  • Do you really need Gig or 10 Gig to the desktop?

  • How much PoE do you need?

  • Do you need a stackable switch?

Instead of buying into what the OEM is currently pushing, be sure to work with a vendor who works with you to meet your needs.

Purchasing quality pre-owned network hardware from a trusted vendor will save you a lot of money. Leveraging an alternative provider’s resources gives you the benefits of purchasing used with the peace of mind of purchasing new.

Network hardware doesn't have that new car smell

Think about it, just like car depreciation, your new product is guaranteed to decline in value over time (and you can't even enjoy that coveted new car smell with network equipment). Talk about buyer’s remorse! Pre-owned network hardware from a reputable vendor costs far less, makes much more financial sense, and still delivers high quality.

While most manufacturers don’t tell you the exact fail rate on their new products, you could buy pre-owned equipment with a reliability rating of 99.5% or better. And that includes maintenance programs that could even cost as much as 50% less than Smart Net Total Care.

Need next-business-day delivery of your hardware? That’s also an option! With all the money you save, you will have more flexibility to allocate your resources toward other projects and investments that make the most sense and drive your business forward.


There are also options that can save you a ton on your networking costs. Let’s look at Cisco for example:

  • Do you need 2960X family? If you are not stacking more than 4, why not consider the 2960S line?
  • Do you need 3650 or 3850 family? If you’re not utilizing the wireless controller options, have you considered 3560X/3750X?
  • Do you need the modularity of the 3650 or 3850 family? If not, take a look at the 3560G/3750G workhorse switches.
  • Do you need Gig to the desktop? 3560/3750 and 10/100 switches can be found at a real bargain.

When looking for a reliable network hardware supplier, here are some key factors to consider: 

Lifetime warranty: Be sure to ask what type of warranty you’ll be getting. The warranty is an indication of the quality your vendor puts into their hardware. Wouldn’t you rather have the peace of mind knowing your hardware is covered for the lifetime of the product?

Is technical support provided? Does your vendor offer personalized attention with pre-sales support from certified technicians? Make sure you’re working with a knowledgeable team to answer your questions and meet your exact needs.

Is the testing process ISO certified? Can your vendor describe the process they use to test and refurbish their hardware? ISO certification ensures that a quality management service is performed to specifications and meets levels of dependability.

How long has the supplier been in business? Does your vendor have the stability to support you in the future? Look for a vendor that has a good deal of experience in the industry and can accommodate your business needs.

Reliability rating: Does your current vendor offer a reliability rating of more than 99% on their refurbished equipment? This rating is an indication of the quality they put into their process.

Remember, there ARE options out there. So the next time you find yourself with networking needs, ask yourself the question: Do I really need what the OEM sales rep is recommending?

CXtec has created a useful guide that allows you to make an educated purchasing decision on a custom-built switching solution that will save you money by getting exactly what you need. Download our free Smart Buyer's Guide to ensure you're making the right considerations.