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Network equipment life-cycles (How long do you keep your gear?)
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
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.
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.
Weber State University
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