America is the land of opportunity – and where entrepreneurs see opportunity, they will try to capitalize. This is a great thing normally, but in some instances, it results in companies taking advantage of clients’ or customers’ lack of knowledge. This is particularly true in the technology realm, where businesses are sometimes unaware of exactly what they’re paying for and easily mislead. How so? Over the years we’ve been frequently approached by organizations that resell network equipment. In concept this isn’t a bad idea for very small businesses that need to save money or don’t have the money to replace broken or aging servers, routers or switches; but in practice it can result in some massive issues. Here’s the 411 on why we don’t sell used network hardware and why you should never buy old network hardware for your business network.
- It’s typically out of warranty.
It’s a rare scenario where a business is replacing a server that still has warranty or is in usable shape. For protection purposes, we always recommend that our clients purchase equipment that remains in warranty for the life of its use and is refreshed just before that warranty runs out. This allows them to benefit from the upgraded support and replacement in the event that the server fails. There can be circumstances where businesses that are upgrading a line of businesses application or bringing e-mail hosting in house that require more space/power. But again, these instances are rare and with more and more businesses moving to the cloud over hosted exchange and local application hosting – make sure you do your diligence. You don’t want to get caught up in a scenario where you’re using a server, switch or router that is out of warranty because this means that you’ll have to replace it yourself if something fails, regardless of when that machine actually fell into your hands.
- It might not be able to furnish updates or patches.
It’s worthwhile to note that older servers can sometimes only run outdated operating systems. If these outdated operating systems are unsupported or have reached end of life, that means that Microsoft has stopped updating them, which means they’re a massive security concern. Microsoft updates definitions as often as every 15 minutes, meaning that if your server is old and running an unsupported operating system, you could be extremely behind on security updates and leave your network open to hackers and data breaches.
- The equipment is sometimes purchased in bulk.
Part of the reason that these providers are able to resell network equipment so inexpensively is they purchase it in bulk. Bulk equipment purchases are subject to “red tape” rules, which means it can be difficult (or impossible) to return and lack a premium warranty and upgraded service and support. Purchasing a new server, switch, router or firewall from a reputable provider means that you have proof of manufacture date and warranty date, upgraded support, guaranteed replacement and 4-hour support windows. You’re just not going to get that unless you have warranty on your equipment and purchase it direct.
- You’re going to pay for it somewhere else.
Technology moves at the speed of light. That means that any equipment that you purchase that’s out of date or used isn’t on the cutting edge of technology. This means that for your fastest, most efficient users, they’re going to see a speed decrease. While it may seem negligible, if there is a delay when an employee is trying to interact with a file on your server, those precious seconds can add up over the course of your day and severely hamper employee productivity. Multiply this by several employees and we’re talking about daily lost productivity that could be costing you hundreds, or even thousands of dollars a month.
We’re all about saving money – but you can’t just save a few hundred dollars or thousand dollars here and there without understanding the true impact. You need to be aware of what you’re doing to your organization’s technology when you purchase equipment this way. Rather than purchasing the most inexpensive equipment – ask yourself – what am I REALLY getting by paying for an older, un-warrantied piece of network equipment? What risk am I assuming and how could this potentially impact my company, the security of my data or productivity in the long term? The more time you take to understand this, the more you’ll understand why we don’t sell our clients’ old network equipment, and why we don’t want you buying it.