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refurbished IT hardware

  • Where do refurbished servers and switches come from?

    This is a common question in our industry. Here’s one way that IT hardware finds its way into the refurbished equipment market:

    Graphic  of question marks and data center server

    A data center leases or purchases a server or enterprise router and uses it for 2-3 years. The useful life of most IT hardware is 5+ years, but many organizations continue to refresh based on the schedule suggested by the manufacturer.

    When it’s time to upgrade to the latest version, the original equipment is returned to the leasing company. The leasing company then sells the hardware to a third party reseller. It is also very common for the original owner to sell the equipment directly to a reseller.

    A reputable reseller cleans, tests, restores the hardware and software to original factory defaults, and finally sells the equipment to a new organization for a fraction of the original cost. The hardware lifecycle starts over, creating value for the new owner, and another server is kept out of the landfill. It's a win for everyone.

    What does "refurbished" actually mean?

    It's important to recognize that there's a difference between refurbished IT equipment and untested used hardware from the auction site. While all refurbished equipment is, by definition, used, not all used equipment is refurbished.

    Refurbished equipment is inspected for authenticity, cleaned, tested, repaired as needed, returned to “like-new” condition, and covered by a warranty. Reputable resellers offer warranties on their refurbished equipment, and often extended maintenance programs that rival the service of the original manufacturer. Used IT hardware can be in any condition and often does not have any guarantee to function.

    Is there an advantage to buying refurbished equipment? It depends on the requirements of the application, and how fast you need the hardware. Every piece of software or workload has a recommended amount of processing power or memory for optimal performance. If the server configuration worked perfectly for the application in the last data center, it will work in yours. Better yet, the hardware has just been rigorously tested and possibly upgraded to your custom configuration. If you can accomplish the same task at half the price, there is an obvious advantage to using refurbished hardware. Finally, refurbished servers and switches are generally in stock and can ship quickly when you need it. Our extensive inventory enables us to receive orders and sell server configurations that can ship same day.

    Interested in learning more about how refurbished hardware can maximize your IT budget? Need something fast? Click here to request a quote for a server with your custom configuration, or here to shop our Dell, HP, IBM, or Cisco UCS inventory.

  • Cut Your Cisco Network Hardware Costs

    Cut Your Cisco Network Hardware CostsLooking for ways to cut your Cisco network hardware costs? I don’t blame you. Network hardware can take a big bite out of your IT hardware budget—and it’s not like you can simply decide to forego networking gear entirely this year as a cost saving measure. So, what can a budget-conscious network professional do to cut network hardware costs? I’m glad you asked. Today we’re going to look at four key strategies you can use to significantly reduce your network hardware costs.

    Strategy #1: Extend the useful life of your existing network hardware. How much money could you save if you used your current network hardware for another year, only replacing failed components as needed? How much time could your team save by maintaining what you have rather than adding another switch or router to your current technology stack? How much downtime would you save by putting your upgrade off for another year or two or three? Could your team’s time be better spent elsewhere? See if you can’t simply put the upgrade off for a year, bank the savings, and wait it out.

    Strategy #2: Refuse to purchase network hardware based on anything other than actual hardware lifecycles. If I had to wager a guess, I would guess that you are probably upgrading your network every three years or so as recommended by your original equipment manufacturer (OEM). And why wouldn’t you be? The OEM only has your best interests in mind, right?  Quite frankly, the unwritten rule of updating every three years is way better for the OEM than it is for you. In doing so, you’re upgrading before you need to and, quite simply, that means you’re spending a lot of money before it is necessary. Networking hardware isn’t changing as rapidly today as it did fifteen years ago, making the standard three year upgrade schedule obsolete. You’d be better off evaluating your own needs and upgrading your network only when it benefits your organization.( Need help determining whether your networking hardware is obsolete or not? Check out this article.)

    Strategy #3: Standardize and consolidate your networking equipment. It costs more—in time and money—to operate disconnected systems and multiple iterations of hardware. Standardizing your networking by using fewer hardware and software platforms reduces the workload for your system managers and help desk staff. The more consolidated and manageable your IT environment is, the less likely you are to experience outages. With consolidated systems, the network outages you do experience are likely to be less severe as well.

    Strategy #4: Consider alternatives to OEM network maintenance programs. OEM maintenance and service agreements can shred your budget if you aren’t careful. Consider a reputable third party maintenance program instead of the program offered by the OEM and you are likely to lower your maintenance costs significantly without sacrificing network performance and reliability. You might also want to consider consolidating multiple maintenance contracts into one agreement to increase savings based on a higher volume of business.

    To learn more about how to lower your networking hardware costs, call 888-210-7636 or contact one of our IT Hardware Specialists today for a free consultation.

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