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Cisco Catalyst 6500 upgrade leaves classic users behind: So what?

The Cisco Catalyst 6500 upgrade is only for the E-series chassis, so what about the classic Catalyst line? Refurb dealer Network Hardware Resale says it will step in with support.

Network Hardware Resale – reseller of refurbished Cisco equipment and continual thorn in the networking giant's side – has a beef with the Catalyst 6500 upgrade announced at Cisco Live 2011 Las Vegas. That is, if a beef can be considered a new way to make more money.

While some Cisco users were confused that the company announced a Catalyst 6500 upgrade instead of releasing the Nexus 7009 at Cisco Live, Network Hardware Resale (NHR) vice president of marketing Mike Lodato says the real problem is that Cisco only upgraded the Catalyst 6500-E series, but not the classic chassis.

Cisco will officially end-of-life the classic Catalyst in November 2012, ending all customer support for the components. That will mean classic Catalyst customers will either have to upgrade to the E-series – or turn to NHR for support (enter violins for NHR here).

The meantime between failure of a typical Cisco product is 20-plus years. They build an awesome product. Ninety percent of failures are manufacting errors that happen in the first 90 days,” said Lodato. “So how dare you make me buy a new chassis when there is no business need?”

Meanwhile, one network engineer at a multinational firm, who uses a mix of classic and E-series switches says it's unrealistic for customers to demand Cisco or any other vendor support components that are 12 years old.

At some point every company has to move on,” he said.

Meanwhile, if customers choose to move on to the E-series, but wait close to November 2012 to do it, they will likely end up facing a lengthy shipping backlog (some predict it to be about six weeks). That will also be a boon to NHR, which keeps both E-series and classics in stock and ready to ship within a few hours, Lodato says.

For those that don't want to upgrade to the E-series, NHR has a clear message:

If you like what you have, we're here to support you,” Lodato said.


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