The role of the business network has changed dramatically in recent years. In the past, for instance, businesses primarily leveraged networks to enhance communications. Today, most organizations are completely reliant on their networks for just about every task, ranging from HR responsibilities to email.
In fact, most organizations today would be completely unable to operate without a fast and reliable network. And for this reason, network spending is on the rise and the trend shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. According to Infonetics, for instance, the average organization spent a whopping $400,000 on network equipment in 2014 alone. And by the end of 2015, that figure is expected to have climbed by about 19 percent.
Yet, in truth, you don’t need to spend this much money to build the network of your dreams. You can achieve high-quality results and stay within budget by following these tips:
Choose open network solutions: You’ll want to avoid vendor lock-in, which happens when you choose a single vendor for the majority of your network equipment. Instead, look for solutions that are built using open standards. As explained in a recent CIO article, this can save you up to 35 percent in overall savings when you equip your business in this way. It’s also important to look for a hardware vendor who supports multiple manufacturers, so you don’t feel pressure from them to buy what they sell.
Virtualize your servers: If you’re running a large amount of servers, chances are likely that a good portion of them are carrying small workloads or are simply idling. Therefore, you should consider virtualizing your servers using a hypervisor, which involves combining multiple servers onto a single platform. Doing so will reduce your overall operating costs, and it will also create less of a burden for your network team because there will be fewer physical machines in use to look after.
Invest in a network monitoring solution: While this may require a small capital expenditure, the money you save in the long haul will be significant, as it will help mitigate downtime by tracking system performance in real time. You can also use a network monitoring solution to collect data on individual devices, and then use this information to gauge its value over the long term. This can help you make informed decisions when purchasing new equipment.
Buy refurbished network equipment: One of the best ways to save money on your network is to purchase your equipment from a refurbished technology provider instead of from an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or authorized vendor. By going this route, you will obtain virtually the same products but you will pay much less for them. What’s more, devices that come from a refurbished technology provider are thoroughly inspected for quality purposes, which will guarantee that they meet expectations once in use in your network.
Keep using your EOL products: Just because a manufacturer declares that a product has reached the end of its life doesn’t mean it needs to be replaced. In fact, most products can be used for up to 5 to 10 years following their EOL notification. You can find the replacement parts and maintenance you need to keep your infrastructure going by consulting with a refurbished technology provider, too. So don’t buy into the hype from vendors that you need to upgrade your network when they tell you to!
Want to learn more about how you can reduce the cost of your network? Give us a call!