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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
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.