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Wireless Networks Thread, Switch Lifetime in Technical; Given recent events I am forced to wonder how often I should replace switches. As a preventative measure before they ...
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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Switch Lifetime

    Given recent events I am forced to wonder how often I should replace switches. As a preventative measure before they fail. Has anyone else thought about this at all?

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    I've just been working on a lifecycle process for all hardware... at the moment (based on experience) I'm going for a 5 year life span for normal switches and 3 years for core switches (as we really don't want those to go pop...).

    I suppose it depends upon what manufacturer you using too - I'm basing these figures on 3com and Cisco kit - I'm not sure about the longevity of other stuff though.

    Ant

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    IIRC 3com warranty is 5yrs after a product is discontinued.
    We have rolling renewals program for all equipment, including switches. We give switches 5-6 yrs.

    edit: we always keep a couple of new ones spare!

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    I have a general "in my head" life cycle planned out, but nothing official. Stuff gets upgraded when we need more capacity or features. When we expand the network I'm more likely to replace a switch in a critical location and move existing one to the new (assuming not critical) area.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    My plan is to replace network infrastructure every 5 years, unless there is an earlier and more pressing need for an upgrade, say for example a sudden change in the way a network is used, which requires a lot more speed.

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    We have a switch infrastructure that has redundancy, we also keep a few spare bits. I don't have the switches on lifecycle replacement as they have a lifetime warranty and will only be upgraded if the requirements change.
    We did have a backbone upgrade in Summer to allow for a new building extension.

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    I saw one module card fail in my old school's core switch, that was in the year I worked there and out of about 12 modules in total. I reckon those switches were about 3-4 years old at the time.

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    We don't have a replacement schedule for switches, as there really is no telling when they will die - I tend to find that a switch runs fine until you touch it, at which point the movement causes the fan to break.

    What I do have is a spare switch, so that when one does fail, we are only down for as long as it takes to slot the new switch in, and I can then order the replacement at my leisure. Now all our fibre links are Gigabit, I should probably get a spare fibre converter too.

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    Damn you all!!

    As i was reading this thread, one of the switches in our bladecentre hung. Ordering a new one right now.

    Matt

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