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Facing Upcoming 2020 Cisco EOSL Deadlines

Many organizations have had to tighten their budgets to make it through the current recession and unexpected shutdowns. The OEMs like Cisco, however, haven’t changed their forced refresh cycle in light of companies’ inability to spend freely on their already expensive data centers. Whether you’re ready to invest again in new equipment for your infrastructure or not, 2020 Cisco EOSL deadlines are still fast approaching. Businesses don’t have to choose between a costly technology refresh or losing support for their EOSL devices. Cisco’s refresh schedule doesn’t have to be yours. Take back control of your data center. Option One for 2020 Cisco EOSL Hardware: Third-Party Maintenance Cisco dropping support for its EOSL hardware doesn’t mean you have to refresh your equipment or continue running critical workloads on unsupported hardware. The [...]

IT Resources for Enabling Telework During COVID-19

Keeping Your Business Up and Running During the Outbreak Even the most comprehensive disaster recovery planning is unlikely to account for a global health crisis like we face together now. The spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) has rocked global markets and impacted daily life and business in a way that was nearly impossible to prepare for. While the health and safety of all people remains top priority, IT leaders are being tasked with facilitating their global workforces to remain as productive as possible—but not all businesses are fully equipped to enable employees to work efficiently remotely. Challenges for ramping up this effort include delays in the supply chain and an inability to quickly scale IT support on demand. While we are taking every precaution to limit the spread of COVID-19 amongst [...]

New Year’s Resolution: Consolidate Vendors

This New Year’s, make a resolution to reduce overhead, simplify logistics, and optimize your workflow: Consolidate vendors. Relying on a multitude of vendors is counterintuitive to efficiency in processes, communication, OPEX, and site-to-site standardization. Not only might you have separate vendors for various aspects of your operations, you might even have five, ten, or more vendors to support your different lines of hardware. With that many vendors to manage, your lean IT team might not know who to contact when your servers start to fail or even when your contracts are due for renewal. Resolve to Stop Falling Behind Without knowing your maintenance contact renewal dates—or vendor contacts—it’s almost impossible to know whether your support has lapsed. Meaning, if your hardware starts failing, your OEM could charge you exorbitant fees to [...]

Global IT Lifecycle Management that Scales with You

Fundamentally, your business relies on the optimization of your IT infrastructure. This means that you need engineering talent to maintain the hardware and provide full IT lifecycle management—and you need high-quality talent across all of your sites. Staffing fully functional IT teams at each of your data centers is unrealistically expensive, and so is flying them all over the world to take care of every amber light. If you don’t have the in-house resources to sustain the critical functions of your global infrastructure, it could be time to consider partnering with a global IT solutions provider The Human Cloud Wouldn’t it be nice if you could scale your IT team like the resource pools in the cloud? That way—much like a cloud instance—you could increase your IT expertise on-demand and [...]

Knowing Your Options for Cisco Nexus 7000 End of Life

It seems like just yesterday that your Cisco Nexus 7000 was a brand-new product, but EOL for the Nexus 7000 was announced back in August of 2013, and EOSL was called the following year. More recently, it was announced that the last day to renew your support contracts was mid-November of this year, and the last day that you will receive “applicable service and support” from Cisco will be August 31, 2019. In short, the 7000s are well on their way to complete OEM retirement. But those 7000s could still be going strong in your environments. If you don’t have any complaints about performance or production, why fix what isn’t broken? Choosing to Take the Replacement Route In short, the Cisco Nexus 7700s are the most straightforward drop-in replacement solution [...]

#CommonSenseIT: From a Litany of Vendors to the Right Vendor

Design, procurement, installation, integration, maintenance, and disposition—IT lifecycle management is difficult already. However, between your hardware OEM, the monitoring and servicing provider, your downstream recycling partners, and outsourcing and billing vendors (among many others you have on your payroll) you face a new logistical challenge altogether: managing and paying a litany of vendors. This is where vendor consolidation comes in. Why not simplify this to one vendor and one bill, saving considerable money? You hire external vendors to increase efficiency, but coordinating across the many different points of contact for each actually creates even more work. In this case, you patch one inefficiency only to create another. The Pain of Too Much ‘Help’ As you and your accountants know, each of your many vendors—in addition to the vendor's standard billing—takes [...]

#CommonSenseIT: Top 3 Secondary Market Misconceptions

Misconception 1: The Secondary Market Is Just About Hardware. We don’t just stop at hardware. Our secondary market involvement has created a space for increasingly adaptable IT solutions. As a third-party vendor, CentricsIT (and other similar companies) had to build an extensive global network of strategic partners to facilitate their secondary market resale and procurement processes. As a result, we have highly qualified “people on the ground” in more than 80 countries. Larger VARs still offer inflated prices for their hardware and services, even if they were also saving money in the secondary markets. We didn’t like that philosophy. We already offered hardware at an economical price point, so why not also offer IT services—maintenance, ITAD, data destruction, etc.—at a similar discount to our clients? Misconception 2: Companies in the [...]

Quick and Effective Ways to Spend Surplus IT Budget

This post was contributed by CentricsIT Account Executive Davis Fisher. Davis is a data center solutions expert who specializes in cost reduction and IT lifecycle optimization. He works from the CentricsIT office in Charlotte, NC (USA). Are you reaching the end of your budget period with leftover funds left to spare? As IT buyers, it makes sense to use as much of your allotted budget as you possibly can for two reasons: You may not get budget approval for the same amount the following period if the board thinks you don’t need it, based on your current spending. You never know what unexpected needs you’ll have in the next period, so buying something now could prove beneficial in tight situations next time if you need to reallocate line items. So Where [...]

#CommonSenseIT: SmartHands Engineering for PTO Backfill

What to Do When You’re Short-Staffed and Your Employees Need a Vacation Gartner has established the ideal end-user-to-IT-employee golden ratio as 70:1; however, the current corporate average is actually closer to 200:1. Meaning that, if you wanted to go by Gartner’s recommendation and fully cover your company’s day-to-day help desk demands, you would need to hire an average of 1.5 additional IT employees per end-user. However, this course of action is often implausible. With such explosive technological advancement in recent years, companies have abandoned traditional models of keeping many highly-specialized engineers on staff (each with his or her own niche discipline). Instead, companies are cutting costs and streamlining their processes through hiring with IT generalization in mind. As a result—with teams pared down to bare minimums—IT employees are forced to [...]

Common Sense IT: Why CentricsIT is Smarter than SMARTnet

This post was contributed by CentricsIT Account Executive Michael Sulka. Michael is a data center solutions expert who specializes in third-party maintenance and cost optimization throughout the IT lifecycle. He works from the CentricsIT office in Charlotte, NC (USA). What is Cisco SMARTnet Support? When purchasing equipment from Cisco, companies also must also procure SMARTnet support. These contracts are typically structured for 1-3 years, depending on the type of equipment purchased. This technical support includes getting proper IOS images, firmware, or updates/patches for your brand-new Cisco product. However, after that initial contract expires, the costs associated to renew SMARTnet support skyrocket at an exponential rate. Simply put, this means it becomes costlier to support older equipment than it would to support brand new hardware. The OEM Treadmill And there is a method [...]