Sometimes switches decide they want an early retirement. When they do, it’s bad news for your network.
Gartner estimates network downtime costs the average business $5,600 per minute in lost productivity, sales, and customers. Every minute your network is down is a minute your sales team can’t place orders, your marketing team can’t access files to create content, and your support team can’t help customers.
When your network crashes, it takes your business with it.
The best way to get ahead of a network crash is to prevent it from happening in the first place, usually by refreshing the parts that are ready to head toward the light. Unfortunately, there’s no sure fire way to know when it’s time to do that. But there are some signs that you should pay attention to more than others.
Here are five signs it’s time to refresh your network before it’s too late.
1. Vendors Have Announced End-of-Life Policies for Your Products
Technology advances, companies update product lines, and vendors declare the EOL for older products. If the products facing their EOL are anchoring your network, it’s time to consider upgrading them—even they’re happily humming along on your mounting rack.
If one of your switches fails, there’s no guarantee a company will have an immediate replacement for it. And An EOL designation usually signifies a company will soon be ending firmware updates along wit as well.
D-Link’s Advice: Check with your vendor to figure out what your best options are for replacements.
2. Your Product Warranties Are Expiring or Have Already Expired
Even if your switches are happily enjoying their networking lives without the threat of being EOL’d, there’s still a chance their warranties are on their final legs. Sure, you could roll the dice and assume your switches will keep ticking away without problems, but when/if they do bite the dust, the amount of money your business could lose when they go won’t be worth the gamble.
D-Link’s Advice: Find the eventual successors to any switches that don’t have a warranty.
3. Your Network Can’t Properly Support New Tech
Maybe you want to add new IP surveillance cameras to your network, or perhaps you need to add new applications to a server. Even if you’re network is running smoothly now, it might slow down or, worse, crash and burn once you add new tech to it.
Before you add new technology or services to your network, consider whether or not you’ll need to upgrade any of the switches first. While you might be okay with your current setup, it’s better to invest in new equipment while you’re network is still up and running.
D-Link’s Advice: Consider the long-term plans and goals your current network needs to support.
4. Your Network Operating Performance Is Steadily Dropping
When your switches underperform due to natural causes (e.g. age) and not configuration issues, it’s a clear sign that they’re past their prime and winding down into the twilight years of their service.
Some of the more common signs of failing health to watch for include:
- Switches rebooting and trying to power backup (failing power supply)
- Switches rebooting due to partial loss of power (underperforming power supply)
- Malfunctioning fans and other cooling systems
- Traffic drops not related to configuration mistakes
- Interfaces not responding to configuration changes
- Interfaces poorly handling traffic
D-Link’s Advice: Weigh the cost of replacing parts and the life expectancy and performance of your current switch against the cost and performance of newer switches.
5. Your Network Operating Costs Are Continuously Rising
As switches age, they become more expensive to care for. Advancements in power management, compression technology, and manufacturing lead to newer switches performing better at lower prices.
Even if the switches handling the TBs of data flowing across your company are running fine, they might not be performing as well as they could or should be. Even small drops in performance can lead to slower overall network speeds, which can also increase energy costs.
D-Link’s Advice: Calculate the costs of your current network compared to the costs to replace and run it.
Many companies refresh their networks every three to five years, and each year brings new trends that will affect your network. 2019 is no different. D-Link has created an ebook to help you identify next year’s trends and prepare for a network refresh. Plus, it’s free.
Download it here.