Never Underestimate the Importance of a Cold Spare…or Two

Never Underestimate the Importance of a Cold Spare…or Two

We’ve all been there — screaming at a lifeless network part while continually restarting it in hopes of a miraculous technological resurrection.

And while it’s one thing to have a component fail on a desktop or office printer (printing out those TPS reports on another floor does suck,) it’s another to have a dead part take down your entire network for the day--or even for a few minutes.

With service provider networks funneling more and more data through their fibered veins, it’s more important than ever to have cold spares on the shelf for emergencies. Today’s digital economy won’t wait for you to redeem your warranty or order a replacement--it’ll just fire you in favor of a more reliable competitor.

Keeping customers happy requires more redundancy than the holiday movie lineup on the Hallmark Channel. But if some of your hardware is older, the bells might not be ringing through Christmas — those aging components could sputter and die, taking down your network at any moment.

“But I’ve invested in failover switches and a lot of my parts have hot spares, so I have nothing to worry about!” you say. We admire your optimism, but unfortunately, reality doesn’t. Take the Juniper MX480 1200W power supply, for instance. We’ve been seeing a higher than normal failure rate on that product, and if you’re currently using it in your network, you need to act now.

We suggest upgrading to the newer and more reliable 2520W supply (especially given that Juniper plans to end support for the 1200W on October 31, 2020.) But if that’s not in your current budget, go ahead and buy one or more 1200Ws to use as cold spares. While companies like Terabit Systems sell both parts, the EOS for the 1200W will likely put a squeeze on their current high availability.

The secondary network part market is by nature ever-changing. Without warning, a part can become rarer than working laserdisc copies of the Star Wars trilogy (although that is still, sadly, the best way to watch the original theatrical cuts without the CGI “special edition” junk shoehorned in. We’re not bitter.)

If you’re in the market for a new product, talk to your sales representative to inquire about how many they have in stock. If the answer is “not very many,” it may actually be a smarter investment to buy multiple copies of a cheaper part, with the downgrade in newness more than paying for itself in reliability and peace of mind.

The ability to stay “always-on,” or as close to it as possible, is one of the most important factors today’s customers consider when choosing a service provider, so keeping more cold spares on the shelf than in the past just makes good sense. After all, what good is a refund for a dead part when you’re bleeding customers who obnoxiously insist that you keep their website, y’know, working?

The team at Terabit Systems specializes in providing quality refurbished networking equipment — as well as industry leading customer service— to clients worldwide. We can help you identify which parts are most likely to need cold spares, saving you money and keeping your customers happy. Email us or call +1 (415) 230-4353 to speak to a Terabit representative for a quote today.


September 09, 2019