As your Cisco product comes to its end of life (EOL), don't just assume that it is dead. By utilizing a hybrid maintenance management strategy you can keep this perfectly functioning equipment alive and well in your existing network for years to come and long after Cisco declines to cover it. Understanding the stages of the EOL process and your options for supporting EOL products can be a big help as you plan your network and select your equipment. Opportunities abound to save a lot of money and extend the useful life of your equipment.
Below is a simple guide to help you understand the key stages of Cisco product retirement. Each of these phases represent an excellent opportunity to move your equipment to third-party maintenance.
Stage 1: End of Life Announcement (EOL)
A notification that Cisco will eventually stop supporting a particular product and therefore, no new features or expansion modules will be added to the product line. These products should immediately be on your radar for inclusion in the third party maintenance portion of your hybrid maintenance strategy.
Stage 2: End of Sale (EOS)
Usually occurs one year after EOL is announced and means the product can no longer be ordered through Cisco channels. The product however, is still eligible for Cisco maintenance and is still receiving IOS maintenance updates and bug fixes.
Stage 3: End of New Service
It is no longer possible to put the unit under a new Cisco service contract, though existing contracts can be renewed before they expire. If you have a lapse in coverage move your contract to third party support so you're covered and you'll save a bunch of money.
Stage 4: End of Software Maintenance Releases
Cisco stops issuing any additional IOS updates for the unit. This represents another excellent opportunity to place your equipment under third party support to extend the useful life of your equipment.
Stage 5: End of Contract Renewal
Device is no longer eligible for any Cisco maintenance package, however third-party maintenance solutions are readily available.
Stage 6: Last Date of Support (LDOS)
Within a year or less of the end of contract renewal, the unit then goes Last Date of Support and Cisco stops all support for the product, making it obsolete in Cisco's view.
CloudCover automatically screens your equipment for its Cisco status above. Use these guideposts as an excellent opportunity to extend the life of your network and avoid new CapEx expenses by adopting a hybrid maintenance strategy with third party support partnerships.
Want to learn learn more? Read our series "Questions to Ask When Considering Third Party Maintenance."