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  • Technological End of Life – what does it mean?

    Technological End of Life – what does it mean?

    Date: 13.03.2023

    Category: Explained

    End-of-life (EoL) is a general term used when the vendor plans to cease the production of a certain product or product line. Taking into account that millions of end clients around the world might be using the product, the EoL comes with a group of milestones that all together form the End of Live of the product.

    End of Life milestones

    The End of Life comprises several milestones. The ones I’m listing below come from the Cisco product lifecycle and can be slightly different when it comes to other vendors.

    The EoL comprises of following milestones:

    • End of Life Announcement Date – the announcement of the milestone
    • End of Sale Date – last day to order the product
    • Last Ship Date – last possible ship date requested from Cisco
    • End of Routine Failure Analysis Date – the last possible date to determine the cause of hardware failure
    • End of New Service Attachment Date – the last possible date to order a new service contract for hardware or software
    • End of New Service Contract renewal – the last date of service contract extension or renewal
    • Last Date of Support – no option to order the Cisco support contract and the product becomes obsolete.
    hardware lifecycle end of life date

    EoL what does it mean for network administrators?

    There are multiple scenarios where the product resides in the critical part of the infrastructure. For these kinds of scenarios obviously, the last date of support becomes the most crucial comparing all the milestones. Without an active support contract, you are no longer entitled to replace failed hardware. Also, the TAC will not handle your case.

    Other milestones are important mainly in terms of planning. You can plan for hardware refreshment cycles or the design of new networks or their functionality with obsolete products. I have seen situations where the AMs offered the EoS-announced products even though the replacement equipment was well-tested in production and safe and available at competitive pricing.

    What to do if an EoL announcement has been issued?

    When the End-of-life announcement affects your infrastructure, take a while and read the EoL notice. It might be as stirring as thick paper documentation but for sure it will be worth your while.

    In the first place, determine if the change is related to your particular product. Sometimes the EoL can affect a lower or higher line, software version or just one license tier.

    If it affects your equipment, then consider the following carefully.

    Last date of Order (End-of-Sale)

    Migrating your network to a new hardware line is not the only option. However, if that’s the way for you, make sure to inform the business side before the date comes. Remember that sometimes the ordering process takes a while (from weeks to even months) including vendor lead times and company processes. You should prepare for the last order when:

    • your design, engineering rules, or automation systems require a particular product;
    • the critical function is available only in the product to be deprecated;
    • your security policy relies exactly on your current product.

    Last day of Support (End-of-Support)

    Whether you like it or not, the EoS will come one day. Some IT projects, business innovations, or transformations could be connected with your design, supportability, or last but not least, budget. It is better to predict and inform your organization that the components of your network infrastructure would become obsolete soon. This information can be crucial for the IT services stakeholders in terms of budget planning or required SLA.

    Last day of Service Contract Renewal

    If you feel that the refreshment is not really needed, renew the contract. Having a product that meets your expectations is also a good reason to prolong the support contract. This can extend the lifetime of the hardware while still meeting your business objectives.

    Support in the migration of EoL products and financing options  

    If your hardware must reside inside the network for some reason but is no longer supported by the vendor, consider the option of shared responsibility that comes from 3rd party support.

    In addition, if you overlooked the EoL announcement and didn’t plan the budget properly, try the financing options. As Cisco Partner, Grandmetric provides Easy Lease financing for new devices.

    Security testing included

    And for dessert, something that might be of professional interest. We treat security with respect and never limit ourselves to simple high-availability tests or rules verification. With every migration, you can count on a comprehensive security scan of your entire Internet Edge.


    Marcin Bialy

    Marcin Biały is Network and Security Architect with over 14 years of experience, with Service Provider and Enterprise networking background. He used to work for large service providers, global vendors and integration services companies as Network Architect, Leading Architect and Techincal Solution Manager positions. He designed, implemented and supported dozens large scale projects and infrastructure migrations, solved hundreds of tickets and spent hours with CLI and GUI of many flavors. Marcin is also holding industry recognizable certificates such as CCNP, CCNA, CCSI #35269, FCNSP #7207, FCNSA and more.

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