Last week I posted a question on Edugeek.net about a situation I have at work with regards to our network switchgear. All of our equipment was bought under the name of the old managed service provider as part of the BSF contract when the building was constructed. This means that now they have pulled out, the switches are out of warranty effectively, as we are the ‘second owners’.
As I view network infrastructure as being at the top of the list in terms of importance, this situation bothers me, so I was trying to gauge what the general consensus is about replacement cycles.
The response has surprised me - the vast majority of respondents have said ‘when it breaks’! Ok, for those with lifetime warranties, that’s fine, as they can get next day replacements of any broken gear, and they only really need to change the infrastructure when they need new capabilities, but those who have older, or out of warranty gear saying it? Somewhat shocking to me.
As Network Managers, we are charged with ensuring the uptime of our network - its basically our raison d’être. We plan replacement cycles for servers, desktops, projectors, printers etc… yet we’re willing to let the technology that holds it all together fail before we replace it.
I 100% understand those saying they have a lack of budget, however at the same time it makes me contemplate whether the importance of the switches has been put across to the senior management at those schools. Has the fact that without their core switch, they would have no network, no SIMS, no printers, no internet etc… been put across?
At our school, I’ve figured out that in capital expenditure alone, replacing all our switches would cost us around £35k at current market rates. Not a tiny amount of money, but an amount of money that I will be ensuring gets put into a 3 - 5 year plan, to replace all the gear.
I’d love to hear some responses to why network infrastructure is sidelined when looking at replacing equipment, so feel free to message me somehow.