Key EOL Dates for Cisco Maintenance on Catalyst 4500 Series
Park Place Hardware Maintenance
Time is running out for Cisco maintenance on Catalyst 4500 Series switches. Owners need to make long-term decisions about the role the Catalyst 4500 will play in the network and the required support needed as Cisco begins to back away. The Non-E Series equipment already began its journey down the EOL highway in 2010—a journey that’s nearing completion now—but it was joined by the E series, which saw end of sale dates earlier this year.
Moving forward, here’s what you can (or actually can’t) expect from Cisco:
- July 31, 2013 marked the end of software maintenance releases as well as security and vulnerability fixes from Cisco for the Catalyst 4500 non-E series chassis. From here on, Cisco maintenance commitment to the equipment is minimal and only available if you have an existing contract. If not, seek out a third party support provider ASAP.
- October 24, 2014 is the last renewal opportunity for existing service contracts, although we’ll think you’ll find that the support provided by Cisco at this stage in the lifecycle is not worth the SMARTnet price. If you haven’t already done so, you should consider whether the Catalyst 4500 continues to play a reliable role in your network and decide how best to extend its life.
- July 31, 2015 is the final service date, after which Cisco considers the switch obsolete. If you disagree, there are viable options to Cisco maintenance.
- July 15, 2013 was the last ship date for 4500 E series chassis. Spare parts for the chassis became unavailable from Cisco back in May.
- February 28/March 1, 2014 brings the end of routine failure analysis and the last date on which you can add a service contract for 4500 E-series supervisor engine and chassis spare parts (dates listed respectively).
- April 16, 2014. Just after tax season ends next year, so does routine failure analysis and the opportunity to add a new service contract on the 4500 E-series chassis. Have your plans in place!
- April 16, 2016 means the end of software maintenance releases for the chassis.
- July 15, 2017 is the last service contract renewal date before the equipment reaches obsolescence (according to Cisco) in 2018.
If you find monitoring end-of-life dates to be a drag to your Cisco maintenance, discuss your situation with a qualified third party maintenance provider. Companies like Park Place Technologies aren’t in the business of forcing obsolescence so we can sell more hardware. Instead, we’re here to help you maintain your equipment at peak performance—and we’re happy to provide full, top-quality Cisco maintenance long after Cisco no longer will.
When you examine your SMARTnet contract, which holds a premium price even as service diminishes, you’ll probably find it makes sense to change over to a TPM for both series of Catalyst 4500s and other Cisco gear you have. You’ll save 30% to 70% from the day you change over. That’s some incentive to get off the OEM death march!