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A creative way to keep IT Infrastructure running at peak performance

By Eli Sabatier

With data centers and organizations of all types experiencing the greatest data surge in history—over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every single day, and by next year it’s estimated that 1.7MB of data will be created every second for every person on earth—it’s pointless to say that the need for equipment to handle all of this is staggering.

In addition, the fact remains that IT needs to continue to function at peak performance at all times. After all, with growing data also comes growing expectations of uptime, SLAs, and more—all of which doesn’t go away just because budgets are thin. 

For instance, without a functioning and efficient IT Infrastructure, organizations can experience system failures, unscheduled downtime, and business continuity challenges that can contribute to loss of customers, loss of revenue, and loss of credibility as a whole. 

For example, Cisco is a leader in the hardware industry known worldwide for quality and functionality, but it’s also very expensive. The cost of modules, components, and accessories for Cisco hardware can create a strain on even the largest of corporate IT budgets. And as we all know, the cost of IT hardware doesn’t always match the need. 

For instance, a simple Cisco Switch can run upwards of $100K, and though it may be needed, budgeting $100K for a single piece of equipment can be an exercise in futility. 

With costs being what they are, what are IT and finance leaders to do to meet the growing demands of everything from IT hardware requirements, to digital transformation, to data growth, and more, all while maintaining reasonable spending? Simply put, IT leaders must find more creative and efficient ways of keeping their department functioning, while reducing spending. 

So, here’s one of the easiest ways to keep IT running while not simultaneously running the budget into the red: consider pre-owned equipment. Now, it’s right about here that I’m sure some of you just felt a cold chill run down your spine. The idea of buying used equipment brings about the same sentiment as buying a used car. It’s the feeling that it will work for the short term, but cost too much in the long term when it fails. And you’re not necessarily wrong. 

However, it’s not the used equipment that causes the issues, it’s who you buy it from. Grey market IT hardware isn’t the easiest landscape to navigate: there are the scammers, the charlatans, and the fake gear itself that you have to look out for. But there is a very bright and worthy light at the end of the tunnel. 

Professionals are out there dedicated to the craft of expertly procuring, refurbishing, and testing used equipment, virtually transforming it into original condition and performance. It’s about having that trusted advisor with a team of experts who place each piece of equipment into a rigorous process to ensure that all legacy data is erased, and that all equipment is working at optimal performance. 

But that’s not where it ends. There is also the ongoing maintenance. Maintaining equipment that has been deemed EOL, or perhaps just past warranty, must be considered as a potential added expense. But again, the right partner will include maintenance programs, have parts available within 50 miles of your location, and so on—all designed to support IT infrastructure in its entirety regardless of it being pre-owned. 

In short, a proven pre-owned asset with a solid record of performance is both an economical fit and a long-term, secure solution. To test the theory, make it part of your next project. When designing a network, invest in the  new, more expensive core switch that you need, but to maximize the budget also invest in pre-owned stack (slave) switches, or as your stack switches reach failure replace them with pre-owned ones at a fraction of the cost. 

And if you want more information, call me. I’m happy to walk you through the finer points of pre-owned equipment, what can be accomplished and, most importantly, what can be saved.