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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.