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Maintenance Alternatives Cisco Won’t Tell You About By Mike Sheldon, Network Hardware Resale

The rising costs of maintaining vital corporate networks

As the world’s leading source for preowned networking

is forcing more and more organizations to gamble on

equipment, Network Hardware Resale (NHR) viewed

how much protection they realistically can provide for

this reality so often that it became readily apparent an

what is arguably one of the most crucial aspects of any

alternative to standard OEM maintenance contracts could

business. The growing reality of constrained IT budgets,

deliver much-needed relief. Called NetSure, this hardware

however, is that many IT managers have to pick and

maintenance program provides around-the-clock

choose where to spend their limited dollars while

technical support with advanced hardware replacement

constantly looking for new ways to solve old problems.

(next-business-day, 4-hour, and onsite spare options.

Recent industry reports reveal continued cost-cutting and slowed IT investments that make it increasingly difficult to protect all business-critical network elements, especially networks with dispersed locations. As a result, it’s become common practice to keep only core network elements under OEM maintenance contracts while leaving equipment on the network edge exposed and vulnerable to risk. Hard Times, Difficult Decisions OEMs’ maintenance contracts are extremely pricey— sometimes costing more than the actual equipment that’s being protected. So, is there any benefit to safeguarding previous generation and end-of-life gear or should restricted maintenance budgets be focused only on the most mission-critical areas? Adding to the support conundrum is the fact that the leading manufacturers of networking equipment constantly accelerate timetables on product updates and introductions, leading to vendor-forced, often premature, equipment upgrades.

A survey of 400 NHR customers nationwide revealed that nearly half of the respondents sought to augment their SMARTnet with complementary technical support. More than one-third of those surveyed also revealed they only covered core equipment under SMARTnet while nearly 40 percent expressed interest in finding more affordable, flexible technical services for remote offices and edge routers. More judicious use of SMARTnet, coupled with an alternate maintenance program, delivers the ideal blend

Santa Barbara ∙ Dallas ∙ New York ∙ London ∙ Amsterdam ∙ Singapore

of network protection for companies of all types, sizes and budgets.

Price Comparison: SMARTnet vs. NetSure

Whether companies are looking to extend network

NetSure debuted in late January 2008 to provide an

capacity, configure next-generation services, plan

alternative to being locked into OEM maintenance

for disaster recovery or acquire network “spares,”

contracts. The 50-to-90 percent savings vs. Cisco’s

the secondary market has emerged as a significant

SMARTnet provides a welcome security blanket for

option for exceptional savings and response time. The

previously unprotected gear.

opportunity to buy a full range of used, new-surplus,

Besides the obvious budget savings, embracing a lower-cost alternative for maintenance helps organizations avoid OEMs’ forced upgrades. For

as well as new-in-box network equipment at a fraction of the OEMs’ prices is yet another way to safeguard mission-critical networks with cost-effective spares.

example, choosing NetSure lets end-users extend

The ability to obtain all kinds and types of gear in a

the lifecycles of viable equipment that has reached

matter of hours or days provides ample time in most

OEMs’ end-of-support status and therefore can no

cases to replace non-essential network equipment

longer be placed under their maintenance. Users of

and quickly restore operations. In contrast, obtaining

Cisco’s 6500 Series Switches, of which there is a

replacement equipment from OEMs, especially if the

reported installed base of more than 350,000 units,

gear is previous generation or nearing end-of-life, often

now have a viable and affordable maintenance

takes weeks or months—if the equipment can be

option for equipment that is no longer eligible for

obtained at all.

SMARTnet support contracts, such as the popular Cisco Catalyst 6509.

Economic necessity alone is forcing more and more organizations to make hard choices about their future

NetSure also offers an enhanced level of support,

maintenance contracts. Knowing that innovative

which includes installation assistance, configuration

alternatives exist—and that they offer up to 90 percent

review and advanced troubleshooting for rapid issue

savings over OEMs’ offerings—goes a long way to

resolution on a variety of platforms. NetSure is priced

providing IT management with increased peace of

on a per-module basis, which allows companies to

mind and improved network protection.

specifically tailor support for different locations or portions of their networks.

Mike Sheldon is CEO of Santa

Secondary Market Delivers Budget Relief

Barbara, California-based

In seeking greater returns on their budgetary

Network Hardware Resale. He

investments, organizations of all sizes also are looking

joined NHR in 2001 as VP of sales

beyond new maintenance options to consider more

and was named CEO in January

flexible procurement opportunities. Specifically, the

2006. Under his leadership, NHR

secondary market for pre-owned network equipment

continues to post record revenues

is gaining market momentum as increasing numbers

and expand its operations

of companies continue to embrace this alternative

worldwide. Prior to NHR, Sheldon had a successful career in

channel to reap equipment savings of up to 90 percent

investment banking for UBS and Barclays Capital in New

off OEMs’ list prices.

York. He holds a bachelor’s in philosophy from MIT.

North American Corporate Headquarters

6500 Hollister Avenue Santa Barbara, CA 93117

Tel: 1-805-964-9975 Toll Free: 1-800-301-0282

© 2012, Network Hardware Resale, LLC. Network Hardware Resale, the Network Hardware Resale logo and NetSure are registered trademarks of Network Hardware Resale, LLC. All other company and product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

Maintenance Alternatives Cisco Won’t Tell You About  
Maintenance Alternatives Cisco Won’t Tell You About  

The rising costs of maintaining vital corporate networks is forcing more and more organizations to gamble on how much protection they real...