Many organisations use obsolete equipment to a greater or lesser extent. Not entirely surprising, as replacement requires proper preparation and planning. However, using obsolete technologies can add unnecessary costs and ultimately make it harder to stay competitive.

In addition there are a number of technical reasons for replacing legacy equipment, such as:

Need for higher speeds

'North-South' traffic (User to Application) is increasingly being replaced by 'East-West' traffic (Applications among themselves). This trend, which has been ongoing for several years, requires different network architectures. This affects Datacentre Switching and DataCenter Interconnect (DWDM) designs.

End of Hardware Support

In this case, the supplier stops supporting the equipment. If the equipment becomes defective or unusable, it is no longer possible to have it repaired or replaced through the supplier.

End of Software Support

In this case, support from the supplier expires and no more maintenance is offered. You can still use the software, but there will be no new updates . Bugs or other defects are also no longer fixed. This creates a high risk of security vulnerabilities.

Compliancy with laws and regulations

Increasingly, equipment must comply with (increasingly stringent) laws and regulations. Think of NIS1 and, in the future, NIS2.

Issues to consider when replacing legacy equipment

Once a decision has been made to replace legacy equipment, it is important to make the right choices. After all, these are long-term choices that often require a considerable investment. Considerations that should definitely be included for consideration include:

1. Does the new equipment fit within the new network architecture?

Common network speeds include 10Gb/s, 40Gb/s and 100Gb/s. However, moving from 10Gb/s to 100Gb/s requires more complex chips. A transition from 10Gb/s to 25Gb/s may then be simpler, but here it is very important to check whether the new equipment can handle these new network speeds.

2. Can the equipment handle higher speeds of 'East-West' traffic?

New network architectures in a redundant data centre environment, often require many cross-connections. Be sure that the new equipment is suitable for this.

3. Is there room to grow?

In many cases, renewing equipment involves a long-term investment. And while it is difficult to predict, it is important to estimate the increase in data traffic for the coming years. For example, look back over the past five years and then consider how this trend will continue in the coming years.

4. Is encryption possible?

NIS, the Network and Information Systems Directive, is a directive that focuses on risks that threaten network and information systems, such as cyber security risks. This directive is expected to be succeeded by NIS2 in 2024. Until now, this directive has mainly applied to mission-critical organisations, but with the advent of NIS2, its scope will be extended to a much wider range of sectors of importance to the economy and society.

NIS2 includes specific guidelines and procedures for using encryption. Therefore, make sure encryption is possible with the new equipment. Even post-quantum encryption systems are now available.

5. Can low-latency be guaranteed?

Especially in a hybrid cloud environment, there are many aspects that affect latency. Keep this in mind. Not only in the network architecture, form of encryption and connectivity, but also in your choice of the right equipment.

Want to know more about this topic? Register for the webinar 'Future-Proofing Your Network: Legacy Equipment' on 23 August or make an appointment with one of our specialists.