End-Users Benefit from the Secondary Market’s ‘Gen N’Approach to Purchasing Networking Equipment
By Lauren Stevens
marks the end of an era—a date when Cisco will no longer offer newservice and support as well as routine failure analysis on its widely popular Catalyst6503, 6506 and 6509chassis. Expect no further fanfare; in fact, Cisco most likely is hopingend-users won’t see the news, which is buried deep on its web site. But end-users shouldtake note and prepare for the consequences.It’s been a full year since the networking giant would even take an order for any of thesevery successful products. So what if your network has standardized on these productsand now you’re undergoing a network expansion and need more? Or what if you need aspare for replacement or disaster recovery? Cisco would say step up to the “E” chassis.Never mind that you need to dig deeper into your beleaguered budget. After all, thenew generation offers increased power scalability, maximum PoE port density andsupports higher performance line cards.What if you don’t need any of these “benefits”? What if you are content with the statusquo because these models have worked well for years? What if you don’t have the fundsfor the expensive replacements? Perhaps you’re thinking there’s no option other than toskimp somewhere else to pay the piper. If you are, no wonder Cisco’s revenues went upfrom $28.5 billion in fiscal 2006 to $34.9 billion in fiscal 2007 and a 13-to-16 percentincrease is expected for fiscal 2008. A good portion of these profits come from Ciscoconvincing increasing amounts of end-users that they must constantly upgrade to thelatest generation equipment, and do it in shorter and shorter timeframes.Despite what Cisco might say, end-users do have some viable options. Start with a fewfacts you’ll never hear from any OEM:
The vast majority of end-users do not need latest-generation gear;
The previous-generation equipment you were told is unavailable is available;
This equipment can be purchased for up to 95 percent off OEMs’ list;
If you must have it tomorrow, in most cases you can.Where can end-users find these answers as well as other useful, unbiased productinformation? From the secondary market for networking equipment.As a marketer of
pre-owned gear, I favor a “Generation Neutral” (or “Gen N”) approach that stands rightin the path of the concept being proliferated by Cisco that only current generationproducts are viable.