10 Ways to Save Money when replacing or upgrading your old IT Networking hardware
I’ve worked in IT networking for over 20 years now and one of the questions we are often asked by our clients is “I need to expand my network, but the Ethernet switches I use have been discontinued, and I don’t want to replace my Core Switch in order to add some more switch ports”. We can usually help in these circumstances by sourcing discontinued (legacy) modules for the old switch, thus providing an expansion path without replacement.
From time to time every IT network requires extending to increase connectivity, upgrading to improve performance and reliability, and part replacement when items fail. The obvious choice is to buy more of the same NEW network hardware equipment, but if your network is more than 2 years old, it is highly likely that the hardware items are no longer being manufactured. We term this LEGACY HARDWARE. Some Resellers may try to persuade you to replace your total network with the latest technology switches, modules, routers, etc, but this can involve a huge investment, and the benefits are not always evident.
There is, however, an alternative. We can supply you with LEGACY (discontinued / end of life) Hardware to match your existing network. The benefits to you are explained in this series of short articles.
1) Saving Costs
By extending the life of your network, you can save thousands of pounds. The cost of replacing the network hardware with new items is only part of the cost. You will also have to train yourself or your staff to configure and maintain the new equipment. This hidden cost can be huge and can cause disruptions to your network that your business can ill afford.
2) New or Refurbished?
With our global circle of suppliers, we can usually find NEW items of Legacy (discontinued) network hardware, to exactly match you existing hardware. If NEW hardware is not available, we can always offer you REFURBISHED hardware. Refurbished hardware is fully tested and normally comes with a full 12 month warranty for total peace of mind.
3) Full compatibility
By adding or replacing the exact same hardware model you can ensure full compatibility with your existing network and avoid any time consuming and costly integration work. And by using the same network hardware models, your network support staff are immediately familiar with the network configuration requirements
4) Network extension and improvement
Rather than make a large investment in the latest gigabit technology switches, you may be able to use gigabit modules in your existing switches, thus improving network performance between floor switches and the network core, and freeing up those network bottlenecks. For example, your old core switch may contain empty network module slots that can take Fibre Modules. This would allow you to extend your network beyond 100 metres, and provide improved performance.
Network hardware maintenance contracts on discontinued (end of life) products can be costly, so why not purchase and hold a few spare items to provide immediate hardware replacement when an item fails. This give you the peace of mind that should a live part fail, you can immediately have your network back up and running by using the spare on your shelf!
6) Buy back
If you have a broken unit, don’t throw it away, but ask us to quote to repair the item. You may be surprised how cost effective this can be. And if the part is beyond economical repair, we can usually find you an exact replacement either as a NEW part or a REFURBISHED part.
7) Upgrade path
By utilising discontinued network hardware you can keep your network support costs to a minimum, but you may still wish to gradually upgrade your network to the latest technology. We can help you by offering expert advice that enables you to add the latest products to your network, whilst maintaining the investment in your old hardware.
8) Service Contracts
As well as offering the FULL manufacturer’s warranty on NEW Legacy products that are still within the manufacturer’s warranty terms, we can also provide you with hardware maintenance contracts to ensure total peace of mind and keep your IT systems running. Our maintenance contracts are totally flexible. You can, for example, place your critical network items under one part of the contract (e.g. 4 hour fix) and your less critical network items under another part of the contract (e.g. Next Business Day). You can even take out a contract for less than 12 months if you have plans to replace the equipment earlier.
9) Genuine product
Some of our customers ask us “how can you be sure that the legacy hardware you supply is genuine product, and not a grey import”. The answer is that we only deal with a circle of reputable and trusted global suppliers. The hardware we supply is guaranteed genuine original manufacturer’s product, and in many cases the Serial Number has been checked against a global database.
10) Wireless integration
Why not give your users the freedom of a wireless network in your workplace. By adding just one or two wireless access points you can easily create a wireless network that will seamlessly integrate with your older network infrastructure. And we can give you tips on how to make your wireless network just as secure as your wired network.
For more information relating to Networking, Network Security and Network Storage please go to our specialist websites:
Network Security http://www.primary-security.co.uk/
Network Storage http://www.primary-storage.com/
IT Services http://www.primarynetworksgroup.com/id2.html
Or to find out more about all of our products and services, go to http://www.primarynetworksgroup.com/
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nigel Bush has worked in the IT industry for over 30 years, mainly related to communications and networking. He is now Technical Services Manager at Primary Networks Group where he oversees all the company's technical projects