Post Warranty Cisco Maintenance Keeps North American Telecoms System Running

Faced with a number of Cisco systems reaching official End of Service Life (EoSL), this North American telecoms service provider faced a common choice – follow the vendor’s instructions and arrange for wholesale replacement of perfectly functioning systems, or find a provider of post-warranty support and maintenance services that would allow them to continue working with their existing investments.

Cisco SAN switches

The existing SAN switches had served their purpose well since installation, and the telecoms provider saw no real reason to replace them.

“Computer Data Services (CDS) had already been working with our business for some years when the Cisco SAN switches came up for replacement,” explained the Manager for IT, “So it made sense to ask them for help first.”

“Everything was running fine and we had no concerns about our SAN infrastructure. We couldn’t find a good reason to replace the switches, but without OEM-grade support, we felt we had little choice but to follow the manufacturer’s EoSL upgrade path.”

Fortunately CDS has many years experience providing OEM-class support and maintenance services for Cisco hardware, and they were more than able to provide a post-warranty service.

“CDS has a local service engineer based in Winnipeg who is able to assist with every problem we have ever raised with him. He is always onsite within four hours – usually less – has never failed to answer our calls for help, and he always has the spares we need to keep the Cisco hardware running smoothly. He is now viewed as an essential member of our team, and has been issued with his own security pass to ensure access to our servers and resources whenever needed.”

“Not only do CDS offer support service that consistently outperforms that which we receive from OEMs, but they also do so at significantly lower cost.”

"Not only do CDS offer support service that consistently outperforms that which we receive from OEMs, but they also do so at significantly lower cost."

Mission critical Tandem server

CDS also provide support for a mission critical Tandem server that has now been in place for 20 years. The server in question is the only control mechanism available for synchronizing a series of core telecoms switches – the software is no longer supported by the vendor, and cannot be upgraded or replaced. This left the telecoms service provider with a dilemma – continue to run the Tandem server without official maintenance and support cover, or replace the whole system at significant cost.

“For several months the severity of the problem was downplayed,” said the Manager of IT Technology, “In the end our Tandem system was left completely unprotected, placing both server and switches in danger of failure.”

Realizing that a failure could have far-ranging consequences, CDS were asked whether they could provide hardware support and maintenance for the legacy system.

“CDS were already providing support for several of our other systems that had reach official OEM end of service life, so we asked them if they could help with a twenty-year old Tandem system too. Fortunately for us and our telecoms service users they were more than happy to help out.”

Several years later CDS is still providing hardware support for the Tandem server and the post-warranty Cisco switches, replacing disks and other components as and when they fail.

“There are no plans to replace the Tandem server or the Cisco switches,” concludes the Manager of IT Technology, “And CDS’ outstanding service means that we may never need to.”


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