What does Cisco SmartNET do for you?

by David Davis on July 11, 2007

What does Cisco SmartNET do for you?

Recently, I had a friend who was buying some equipment
ask me if they should buy Cisco SmartNET services for the new equipment they
were buying. I explained to them that SmartNET does three things for you-

1) covers the HW in case it breaks
2) authorizes your already owned (purchased separately) Cisco IOS license for
IOS upgrades
3) allows you to call in for tech support on that serial number

On older equipment, many times, the HW maintenance  isn’t worth it. The
SmartNET on a 2610, for example, might be $500 per year when I can buy a 2610 on
eBay for $400. However, the IOS upgrades might be worth it.

Currently, (not that I would do this or endorse it at all) due to Cisco’s
limited protection of IOS download and distribution, you could technically get
SmartNET for 1 of your, say, 10 routers, that are all the same. You could
download the IOS and apply it to all 10 routers without Cisco’s knowledge (you
would be breaking the license agreements of course). That would allow you to
upgrade all your routers but doesn’t help you if one breaks or if you have
technical questions about a router that isn’t on the contract.

In the future, Cisco will have a licensing server on the network that will keep
all licenses up to date – like Microsoft’s licensing server (I hope it is better
than theirs).

I’ll tell you what I do – I buy SmartNET on all of my core production routers
every year with 24 x 7 service & 4 hour response. For all of my remote routers
(50+ of them), I buy SmartNET on a handful so that I can call in for tech
support on that "model’ of router if there is an issue between the core and
remote routers. As all my remote routers are older and I don’t expect to need to
upgrade the IOS, I don’t buy it for them. Plus, those Cisco routers are so darn
reliable only 1 of them has broke in the last 5 years, I haven’t felt that I
needed the hardware replacement features of SmartNET

Of course, if you or your company can afford it – go right ahead and purchase
SmartNET on all devices, every year. It is very nice to have and the Cisco TAC
does a GREAT job!

I hope that helps you in your purchasing decisions!

David Davis – Cisco Guy and Operator of
a look at the *BEST* CCNA Video on the market today!

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