Stretch Your Budget With Refurbished I.T. Equipment

By: Chris Robertson

When I was running the I.T. department of a large company I learned firsthand just how complex and expensive a task it is. To be honest, as exciting as all that new information technology is, I do not miss all the battles over budgets and all the justifications of the high cost of new I.T. equipment.

Another problem for I.T. professionals and managers is that progress is so fast and furious that there will always be a new budget-busting state-of-the-art technology to replace mature and more reasonably priced equipment and technologies. Decades ago many shops replaced hugely expensive mainframes with minis and superminis and then PCs, just to find that dozens of minis or hundreds of PCs added up as well. In the late 1980s every year was supposed to be the year of the network, and when networks finally arrived we found that network hardware, while opening terrific new communications capabilities, quickly became another large cost item.

Sun Microsystems once proclaimed, "the network IS the computer," and while they were a good decade early with that assessment, it nonetheless came true. Today, computing hardware itself has become amazingly inexpensive. I remember paying $20,000 for a 32MB memory board. Today, you can get that on eBay for a buck, if you can still find a board with such low capacity. PCs, servers, laptop computers and PDAs have all come down in price, but somehow overall I.T. budgets have not. That is largely due to the high cost of all the networking equipment we need today.

As any Cisco reseller can tell you, technological progress in network modules continues unabated, and the costs can be high. I.T. equipment these days includes not just computers, but a whole infrastructure of routers, switches, bridges, and access servers. If your organization supports smartphones, VoIP, and other wireless communications, network systems support for those services adds cost and complexity. And with our ever-increasing reliance on electronic communication for all aspects of business, security is becoming a seemingly endless challenge that requires the most sophisticated tracing, monitoring and firewall systems.

What all of this means is that the cost of I.T. equipment can easily get out of hand. As a result, more and more I.T. managers and CEOs look toward used and refurbished I.T. equipment. This, of course, requires a good understanding of communications systems technologies, capabilities and performance or else you end up with a sluggish, incompatible and easily compromised network. Do your homework, however, and you can easily stretch your budget with refurbished routers, switches, servers and other network modules from leading vendors. Some of the equipment you can procure from network systems resellers that specialize in refurbished and pre-owned network gear is actually new and may simply have been replaced.

Using refurbished equipment means you can update or expand an existing networking installation for far less than it'd cost to buy new. Likewise, if your disaster recovery plan calls for redundancy or additional backups, you can also safe a bundle by checking used networking product. With network systems security and performance being ever more important, yet funds and budgets ever harder to come by, keeping an eye on used and remarketed network gear simply makes sense.

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Chris Robertson is an author of Majon International, one of the worlds MOST popular internet marketing companies. For tips/information, click here: I.T. equipment
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