There are many reasons why Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) such as Cisco, IBM (News - Alert) and HP declare products End-of-Life (EOL) or End-of-Service (EOS). Once a product is declared EOL, the manufacturer will only provide software support for another one to five years, but hardware support will not be covered.
OEMs declare equipment EOL or EOS for reasons including technology innovations that make new products and software available, less market demand on a particular model means production of that model is no longer profitable, supply of replacement parts dries up, legacy technical personnel become too senior and therefore too expensive and there is pressure on OEMs to increase company revenue by replacing old products in the field with new products.
An Agency Director stated that the D.O.D. spends approximately $75 million a year replacing Cisco (News - Alert) hardware that has been deemed EOL or EOS. Just because equipment is declared EOL doesn’t mean you need to replace the technology right away. OEM’s continue operating system software support for at least three to five years after the EOL date. There are hundreds of companies that provide support on EOL equipment, including 24/7 phone Technical Assistance Centers (TACs) and on-site service for Cisco, IBM, HP, SUN and SGi Hardware.
There are hundreds of companies that provide replacement parts, repairs and self-maintenance training even including spares kits for almost all technology. IT professionals faced with EOL Cisco switches and routers don't need to despair. Even IT people currently considering getting products that have already been deemed EOL have hope. The reason is that, despite the fact that Cisco will eventually stop providing support, there are other options.
Not only can businesses continue using end-of-life equipment, they may even find it is much less expensive in the long run than purchasing replacement equipment. A few options for IT pros looking for ways to support their EOL switches and routers include using alternative maintenance and replacement services, getting low-cost spares and utilizing both maintenance and spares.
Alternative SMARTnet solutions providers include XS International, a provider of data center solutions that extend the life of IT infrastructure while reducing costs and/or capitalize on new technologies that introduce efficiencies or cost savings. It offers support for EOL Cisco equipment, meaning you don’t have to rely on Cisco SMARTnet for support.
XSi’s Cisco partner blended SMARTnet value added benefits and services include contract flexibilities, simple contract management with all support under a single agreement for multiple OEMs, SLAs and global support, payment flexibilities and cost reductions over Cisco’s deepest discounts. Its TAC is an authorized Cisco Partner, staffed with more than 325 network engineers, provides 24/7 global phone support and manages worldwide depots for advanced OEM part replacement.
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Edited by Rich Steeves