Network Lifecycle Management - anybody???

Justin M. Streiner streiner at cluebyfour.org
Mon Dec 9 23:52:15 UTC 2013


On Mon, 9 Dec 2013, Stefan wrote:

> As $subj may infer, do you guys follow any type of network lifecycle in
> your environment? If so - what would be some criteria you would consider
> critical:

You'll probably get lots of different answers to this question depending 
on where people are working.  The lifecycle criteria for an enterprise 
can be very different from a service provider, .edu, K-12, etc.

> - risk reduction while replacing unsupported equipment
> - security issues associated with OS or appliances not supported

In my $dayjob environment, we generally try to have gear out of produciton 
before it goes EOS/EOL.  For things like closet switches, the main 
driver is more about keeping current on security issues, since we often 
have spare hardware to take care of things like chassis failures, etc. 
For core gear, maintaining a vendor-supported setup is the main driver.

Other organizations might also have separate lifecycle plans for core vs. 
non-core gear.  Financially, the amount of capex/opex per device can make 
a difference.  A smaller number of core routers/switches might be expected 
to have a longer service life (preferably extendable through module 
upgrades before a forklift replacement is needed) and depreciation 
schedule than a larger number of smaller access/edge switches, regardless 
of the expenditure.

I generally don't want to forklift core gear more often than about 5-7 
years, though business and technical realities might dictate otherwise.

> - business / apps demand for capacity or features (e.g. virtualization,
> SDN, etc.), laid out well in advance to allow for a 3-4-5 yrs plan with a
> consistent replacement rate of aging equipment

We've been doing this with things like wireless APs - replacing older ones 
over time in addition to installing new ones to keep up with the demand 
for coverage.

> - increased costs of support for aging equipment, or recertification for
> vendor support
> - anything else ... ???

As much as I hate to say it - politics does play a factor in many 
environments.  In the academic world, 'keeping up with the Joneses' has 
certainly factored into some technology purchasing decisions.  In other 
words:

"xyz.edu is deploying $blah.  We need to deploy $blah, too."




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