When You Should Buy Used Cisco Equipment
The single most important part of a business's data infrastructure is the network. Network hardware commonly includes firewalls, intrusion prevention systems (IPS) and access control systems.
When it comes to network hardware vendors, the number one player in the game today is Cisco Systems. If anyone has ever received quotes for Cisco equipment, the hardware and support contracts are sometimes surprisingly high.
There are many companies and other means of acquiring used and refurbished Cisco equipment on the Internet. These include highly regarded businesses that buy and inspect used gear and then resell it. Oftentimes, this used equipment can include extended warranties in case of failure.
Here are three situations where I felt purchasing used Cisco equipment was justifiable.
Situation 1 - Lab gear:
Part of being a network engineer is studying for and obtaining certifications such as the Cisco CCNA, CCNP or CCIE. While book learning is great, there is no replacement for hands-on experience. I have found over the years that it is very cost effective to purchase used equipment for my personal lab. This equipment does not serve any mission-critical purpose and if it's a little bit "flaky" it can still serve some purpose in a lab environment.
Situation 2 - Used Cisco equipment for situations where there are no high-availability needs:
In this situation I had a client that had mission critical business located in one very large central network. In addition, the organization had several remote sites that were not considered to be of critical importance. In fact, the WAN infrastructure consisted of a P2P VPN with a single Internet connection. The design of all the remote sites had multiple single points of failure.Continued on the next page