The Gear In Corporate Networks Is Increasingly Obsolete [Infographic]

Network equipment is not like smartphones: we tend to leave it in place until it stops working. However, new data on utilisation suggests we might be taking this tendency too far: more than half the networking gear currently used is outdated.

Network picture from Shutterstock

Dimension Data's Network Barometer Report, which tracks network trends based on technology assessments and support requests, found that 51 per cent of equipment used was no longer on sale. In many cases, it is no longer even supported by the original vendor.

The company offers three potential explanations for this trend: a desire to trim costs, a shift to consumption-based models such as cloud, and an unwillingness to upgrade gear until there's a clearer road map for software-defined networks.

Check out more findings from the report in the infographic below.


    Infographics - how to take small amounts of simple information and make it seem complex and important.

    Suffice to say, I HATE infographics. It's like singers who feel it necessary to do vocal gymnastics on every single note of a song. It numbs the senses so pretty soon you switch off completely.

    Just because you can no longer buy the equipment does not mean you should be throwing it away and upgrade. We have lots of equipment that you can not purchase anymore but are more than adequately doing their job. Not everything needs to be upgraded every year.

      Dimension Data have a vested interest in companies upgrading their systems and infrastructure on a daily basis.

        All the more remarkable that their basic conclusion is "running obsolete equipment is OK, but be ready for when it fails, and be prepared to move forward with new requirements."

        Mind you, if they had come to a different conclusion I would have some pretty strong doubts about their objectivity. But that's basically the same recommendation anybody looking after a network which is budget-sensitive would sensibly make. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. If it is broken, fix it. If it *might* break, be prepared to fix (or replace) it, and make sure that the breaking won't harm your operation more than is absolutely necessary.

      This. I'm sure the hardware companies would love it if every business was continually upgrading but if something works then why change it?

    Or you know... Some things just aren't that necessary to be upgraded because its still doing what it needs to do, having that odd old switch to connect an additional terminal or 2 or that printer thats still kicking around - yes companies will purchase new big shineys when they are required but if its not broken (and doesnt impact/slow other things within the network down) then I wouldn't call it obsolete. :)

    It is interesting that the faliure and MTTR rates are lower with the "Obsolete" equipment". Really says a lot about a lot of the "current" equipment that are "built to a price".

    So the infographic even says the older networking kit is more reliable and that most problems are going to be outside of the supplier's maintenance contract anyway. Not exactly a glowing recommendation to upgrade.

    There hasn't been a big technology shift in wired networking that would require large scale upgrades in a long time. There were obvious benefits in upgrading systems from 10 Mbps Ethernet to 100 Mbps. For data intensive businesses, a site wide upgrade to gigabit also made sense (for most others, it made sense to do the upgrade as computers were replaced).

    Everything since then has had more limited application. It might make sense to upgrade some core infrastructure, but the old equipment is working fine to connect up desktops, etc.

    Maybe it's just me but why does "Enterprise Mobility" require "Gigabit Ethernet" and "10Gbit uplinks"?

    Seems like a failed attempt to sex-up what is essentially plumbing (DD's bread and butter) by associating it with a nebulous yet on-trend buzzword.

    Or maybe it's just me...

    So was the gear that caused Di Data's outage also obsolete, or does the new stuff break just as easy?

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