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Why refurbished switches are the best choice for your data center

From the equipment and personnel to the maintenance and upkeep, building and updating your data center is an essential but costly venture. With the swift pace of technological advancements in the IT industry, today’s top of the line flagship is tomorrow’s outdated, insecure relic. Components such as switches and firewalls typically need to be replaced every few years to maintain stability and security. The accumulated price of keeping up with the speed of progress spread over the entirety of a data center’s multitude of components can quickly become burdensome, especially in regard to switches and firewalls which are some of the most commonly and consistently replaced pieces of hardware. In order to mitigate the financial weight of maintaining current hardware, consider purchasing refurbished switches and firewalls.

1. Short term savings

While it may seem to be the most obvious reason to purchase refurbished equipment of any kind across any field, the value of grabbing quality gear at a discounted price can never be overstated. In many cases, for various reasons, users will have to replace a part of their data center long before it has reached the end of its functional lifespan. Significant discounts are to be had on refurbished switches and firewalls that may not be on the cutting edge anymore but are still appropriate for all but the most specialized and well-funded applications.

2. Long term savings

By replacing equipment incrementally with more up to date refurbished models on a rolling basis as needed instead of engaging in a top to bottom upgrade of your entire system, you can spread your savings over the lifetime of your entire data center as opposed to bombing your budget with a full scale, latest and greatest rebuild. Paying close attention to the operation of your gear, keeping an eye on the refurbished market, and staying on top of industry standards is integral to keeping your equipment modern but affordable. Think of your network as you would your automobile. While it may require a degree of dedication to keep up with a responsible oil change and tire rotation schedule, it is a far more cost effective path to take than having to reconstruct an engine or buy four brand new tires all at once.

However, unlike the wear and tear on your car, much of the “necessity” of equipment upgrades is ultimately up to the requirements of the administrator. Manufacturers will often recommend a hard and fast timeline for hardware updates that, if followed religiously, would result in a great deal of fully operational equipment being needlessly retired and money wasted. The discretion of a responsibly minded IT professional who makes refurbished hardware a cornerstone of their philosophy is the guiding force behind a financially efficient upgrade schedule.

3. Don’t sweat the warranty

Manufacturer’s warranties can be a lifesaver when something goes wrong. Many purchasers may have anxiety about a lack of support for pre-owned refurbished switches, firewalls, or other equipment. Any reputable distributor of refurbished gear will stand by their sales and the quality of their output. While these policies may not be as robust as what you are granted for buying new material directly from a manufacturer, they should give peace of mind to anyone weighing the cost saving advantages of buying refurbished versus brand new, especially considering that many refurbished components aren’t actually very old at all.

4. Refurbished switches are better for the environment 

It’s not breaking news that recycling, especially when it comes to electronics, has environmental benefits. Landfills are absolutely full of discarded scrap, and a vicious cycle of throwing away unneeded gear only to be continually replacing it with newly manufactured equipment is not a responsible, sustainable system with regard to the pressure that we collectively put on our climate. Buying refurbished extends the circulation and lifespan of the equipment and allows it to stay out of the landfill and on the rack.

Additionally, buying refurbished equipment can work for your company’s image. It’s good PR to publicize any green initiatives that an organization partakes in. Let your cost saving IT philosophy pull double duty and provide your company with a feather in their cap for adopting a conscientious environmental attitude!

5. Familiarity

We all know the pain of early adopters when it comes to the cutting edge of technology. That shiny new box is all fine and dandy until it starts to act up and no one has any experience figuring out what exactly is going on. The risk involved in grabbing just released products is one of the many issues an IT department needs to assess whenever new equipment is required.  A not often discussed benefit to using yesterday’s gear today is that it will have been already subjected to real world applications. Technicians will be familiar with any quirks or common issues, and there will be an easily accessible pool of information available online at the other end of a simple search.

Buying refurbished switches

Efficiency is the name of the game in IT. Whether you’re running cables or working within a budget, it’s important to build on a foundation that was designed for success. The utilization of refurbished switches, firewalls, and other equipment is an important tenet in maximizing the stability, cost effectiveness, and output of your data center. 

  • Save money on the cost of needed gear
  • Update firewalls, switches, etc., on a rolling schedule as opposed to refreshing entire systems as they become obsolete
  • Easier troubleshooting thanks to widespread familiarity of tried and tested equipment
  • Responsible use of refurnished equipment is more environmentally friendly and leads to less waste. This can provide good PR for your company.
Derek Walborn
Derek Walborn
Derek Walborn is a freelance research-based technical writer. He has worked as a content QA analyst for AT&T and Pernod Ricard.

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Why refurbished switches are the best choice for your data center