It used to be that when IT professionals thought about network infrastructure and data center costs “simple” was one of the last words to come to mind. However, with the evolution of open standards equipment, virtualization, and cloud computing, technology … Continue reading
Network hardware maintenance is perceived as a necessary evil and is often required for a long time after the standard warranty has expired as there is often little or no budget for a full technology refresh. Without continued updates and support, … Continue reading
Hardware.com provides vendor-agnostic view of the IT landscape to align companies’ IT needs with their business and economic goals. Amid today’s increasingly challenging information technology (IT) climate, Hardware.com today launched the first phase of a strategic investment in channel-led integrated … Continue reading
In the spirit of System Administrator Day, we’ve provided practical steps to improve operational efficiency and reduce costs.
According to research from information technology (IT) advisory firm Gartner, worldwide IT spending in 2012 is estimated to hit $3.6 trillion—up just three percent from 2011. Although this is better than last year, many IT leaders are still under significant pressure to reduce their organization’s IT spend. In honor of System Administrator Day, observed on July 27, Hardware.com has identified four practical tips to help IT professionals improve efficiency and reduce costs within their organizations.
As new networking trends and technologies continue to emerge, IT professionals find themselves subjected to many new challenges. Although these can be difficult to navigate, it’s possible for IT leaders to get back to basics and reduce costs with a few simple steps for keeping IT costs in check:
1. Introduce competition for existing product.
A sure-fire way for IT execs to reduce costs is to use multiple vendor technologies within the IT infrastructure. A recent study from Gartner found that by introducing a second vendor, organizations can “reduce total cost of ownership by at least 15 to 25 percent over a five-year timeframe.” By adopting a multi-vendor approach, IT leaders can keep vendors vying for their business and ensure price protection for both short- and long-term budgets.
2. Use standards-based architectures instead of proprietary solutions.
According to an article in Network World, many IT analysts believe “proprietary architectures have more to do with vendor lock-in than with technological advancement.” In order to control costs and ensure greater flexibility of their infrastructures, IT leaders should consider investing in standards-based technology and protocols instead of proprietary technology. This is especially important amid today’s rapidly evolving networking industry.
3. Take advantage of proof-of-concept hardware.
Because network infrastructures are costly investments, IT providers go to great lengths to demonstrate the efficacy of new products and solutions through advanced demonstrations. If a company’s IT partner cannot offer or deliver proof-of-concept hardware, it should be viewed as a red flag—a sign they may not practice what they preach. IT professionals can maximize their investment and ensure a good fit by taking advantage of proof-of-concept resources before purchase and implementation.
4. Liquidate ‘end-of-life’ hardware.
Many companies dispose of old hardware by arranging trade-ins with their manufacturers; however, in most cases IT professionals can achieve greater financial returns by organizing trade-ins with a third-party technology provider instead. With more experience in ‘end-of-life’ equipment, technology providers have a better understanding of product value and how to exchange it.
Amid a wealth of information that exists in the marketplace today, it’s easy to overlook tried and true strategies for controlling IT costs. In honor of System Administrator Day, we felt it was important to provide IT professionals with tips for effectively reducing hardware costs without disrupting the flow of their business.
We have all seen the press releases from Cisco and are all excited that the Catalyst 6000 series (yes we know Cisco has now added 500 to this) may be around for a few years to come. Who would have thought all those years ago when the Catalyst 6000 series was launched we would still be writing about new cards for it some twelve years later—will this thing ever die? The Supervisor 2T (Sup2T) does seem to provide some reasonable performance increase to the aged 6500, but the question on people’s minds has to be “do I upgrade to a Sup2T?”
On the face of it, a move to the Sup2T seems like a good idea as it is just a quick Supervisor change isn’t it? Well no, there are a few things that need to be taken into consideration when thinking about a change to the Sup2T.
Here is what to expect:
• E-Series Only – Well, that older non E-Series Catalyst 6500 that has been running for years is not going to accept the new Sup2T, which means that a chassis change will be required (potentially with some linecards—see later). However with Cisco TAC support being removed for the non E-Series chassis from 30th November 2012, the chassis change may be inevitable for most customers.
• Enough Power? – Your existing Catalyst 6500 E series may not have enough power to support the Sup2T as there are some definite power requirements. The 6, 9, and 13 slot chassis must use the now EoS 2500W power supply as a minimum; although, for all new sales, we recommend the 3000W version. The 6503-E chassis must be using the 1400W power supply, and the 6504-E must have the 2700W supply.
• Terabit Performance – At last Terabit performance comes to a Catalyst 6500 near you. With forwarding capacity of two Terabits the Supervisor 2T really does promise great things; although, this is dependent on the linecards you install in the chassis. Cisco has resurrected the term ‘classic’ to refer to older linecards that will not benefit from the increased performance that the Sup2T offers.
• Backward Compatible – Ahh! There is the sticking point with the Sup2T upgrade as it is no longer just a case of dropping new Sups into your Catalyst 6500 chassis. You need to know what cards you have and decide if the upgrade is for you.
o Certain WS-X61XX cards are compatible as are almost all WS-X67XX with a Central Forwarding Card (CFC) installed; the WS-X6708-10GE-3C/3CXL is not compatible.
o There is no support for any WS-X62XX, WS-X63XX, WS-X64XX, or WS-X65XX series linecards.
o If you have any WS-X67XX linecards with Distributed Forwarding Cards (DFC), these will not be compatible until the DFC cards are changed for the new DFC4 range in either XL or CXL versions.
There is a new range of WS-X68XX and WS-X69XX series of linecards that will make use of the new performance that the Sup2T offers, but these will be a new purchase with no trade-in program offered by Cisco. However, with a wide range of buy-back programs offered by Hardware.com, your account manger can help soften that particular blow.
So, on the face of it, a move to the Sup2T could be expensive as new chassis, power supplies, linecards, and/or DFC cards may be required. This means a great deal of both technical and budgetary planning is required as the upgrade will not be a case of a couple of takeaway pizzas and a quick Supervisor swap one evening.
The question on whether or not to upgrade your existing Catalyst 6500 series switches with the Sup2T is a difficult one to answer, and it really depends on what you are looking to achieve from the upgrade. If you need to extend the life of your existing 6500-E series chassis and do not require a huge port density of 10Gbps ports, the Sup2T could be the way to go after careful consideration of additional costs. If you are looking for a high 10Gbps port density then the Nexus 7009 seems the ideal way to go given that it has now established itself in the marketplace.