How old is the equipment running your campus network? Older than 5 years? Do you experience recurrent network outages? Do you struggle with poor quality voice and video communications? Do you pay too much to maintain your legacy equipment? Do you have trouble scaling up the network to accommodate new business needs? If you said “yes” to any of these questions, it may be time to upgrade your campus network. We’ve put together a list of the five telltale signs it’s time to upgrade your campus network.
- Frequent equipment breakdowns causing network outages
As with all electronic equipment, as switches age they are more prone to failure. Power supplies and fans reach the end of their life span, old optical transceivers/links will increasingly fail and require more frequent maintenance. A switch or a link going down can result in network outage in older network architecture lacking redundancy.
- Performance can’t keep up with latest campus applications
The latest campus applications like web based video conferencing, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), IP based video surveillance, automated cloud based backup, to name a few often require more bandwidth and lower latency than most legacy networks were designed for, causing users to experience delays and poor application experience. Additionally, the latest network powered devices such as high performance wireless access points and Pan Tilt Zoom security cameras require more PoE power than legacy switches can deliver.
- HIgh maintenance cost
Old network equipment is notoriously more expensive to maintain than the latest generations. Often vendors charge a percentage of the equipment list price as yearly service and support fees, since prices of new network switches have come down over the years so did service and support fees. Additionally, vendors tend to increase service and support fees for end-of-lived equipment to amortize the cost or maintaining old technology. Last but not least, many newer network switches include a lifetime warranty reducing the cost of support.
- High power bills
Over the years, customers have become increasingly concerns about energy consumption and cost. To address their needs, Brocade has developed more energy efficient products and each generation of new network switches consumes significantly less power than the previous one. Additionally new technology and standards such as Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE) has been developed to reduce the power consumption of idle ports.
- Too much time spent managing the network
Older legacy networks offer very limited support, if at all, for consolidated management and automation. Typically older switches are either standalone only or offer basic stackablity with limited stacking bandwidth and short stack height. This results in network administrators having to manage each switch individually, spending precious time replicating network policy changes manually across the network.