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I thought I would start a new thread for this discussion.
 
There are a few reasons to replace network gear:
 
1) Require more performance
2) Require new features
3) Vendor has stopped making software update (security issues)
4) Hardware has become unreliable
 
Access Layer:
We typically keep spares for our access layer.  Depending on the vendor EOL schedule, we expect to get at least 7 years.
 
Distribution, Core, and Internet Edge:
Due to over-subscription, these layers need more frequent performance upgrades than the access layer.  Most of these devices are modular, so an entire replacement may not be required.  For instance, adding 10-gig modules to a 4500/6500 will extend the life of these devices.  I plan on upgrading these devices when their links reach 50%, so that it can be requested, purchased, shipped, and installed before the link gets above 75%.  Upgrades happen around every 5 years.
 
Wireless:
This is a funny one, since wireless changes much faster than the wired network.  New protocols, products, and features are being added all the time.  I expect our wireless APs to only last 5-years before they become obsolete in features and performance.  We also keep spares for our wireless APs.
 
Cheers!
 
Tristan
 
 
 
--
Tristan Rhodes
Network Engineer
Weber State University
(801) 626-8549
********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

Comments

I put a 10 year lifespan on access layer equipment. I think if you can get 10 years out of them, you're doing good. This is also provided that there is bug free code available. We keep spares to bridge the time gap between RMA request and getting the replacement switch.

For core and datacenter services, I keep them on Smartnet and software/hardware support in the case of non-Cisco equipment. I don't replace them until one of the following happen:
a) They are End of Support and we can't get any support or maintenance on them.
b) The maintenance for the hardware gets ridiculously high (ex. PIX firewalls vs ASA) compared to the support on a newer replacement.
c) We really, really need a new feature.

Wireless:
We use Cisco WLC so we replace access points when they die or or the controller stops supporting them. I still have a bunch of 1231AGs that have been around since 2004. They're still working fine. I have spares to replace them if they die and the WCS will let us know immediately when that happens. Usually a nearby AP will pick up most of the slack if this happens.

If management were to start asking for N, I'd get on replacing them. But I've never got a single "Why don't we have N" complaint, so I'll use that money somewhere else.


On 9/14/2012 4:58 PM, Tristan Rhodes wrote:
I thought I would start a new thread for this discussion.
 
There are a few reasons to replace network gear:
 
1) Require more performance
2) Require new features
3) Vendor has stopped making software update (security issues)
4) Hardware has become unreliable
 
Access Layer:
We typically keep spares for our access layer.  Depending on the vendor EOL schedule, we expect to get at least 7 years.
 
Distribution, Core, and Internet Edge:
Due to over-subscription, these layers need more frequent performance upgrades than the access layer.  Most of these devices are modular, so an entire replacement may not be required.  For instance, adding 10-gig modules to a 4500/6500 will extend the life of these devices.  I plan on upgrading these devices when their links reach 50%, so that it can be requested, purchased, shipped, and installed before the link gets above 75%.  Upgrades happen around every 5 years.
 
Wireless:
This is a funny one, since wireless changes much faster than the wired network.  New protocols, products, and features are being added all the time.  I expect our wireless APs to only last 5-years before they become obsolete in features and performance.  We also keep spares for our wireless APs.
 
Cheers!
 
Tristan
 
 
 
--
Tristan Rhodes
Network Engineer
Weber State University
(801) 626-8549
********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.


-- Vlade Ristevski Network Manager IT Services Ramapo College (201)-684-6854 ********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

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