3 Things You (and Your CEO) Should Know Before Buying A New LAN

When a client asks us to design a new LAN, our team always points out a few items to help our clients acquire the right gear the first time.  Unfortunately, we’ve been brought in after the fact to “fix the new gear we just bought online” only to end up suggesting it’s the wrong equipment and has to be returned. Here’s a few things to consider.

  1. A switch is a switch right? Just buy the cheapest one online and we’re fine.
    This is flat out false as seemingly identical switches are not the same.  Take for example a 48 port GB switch.  You’ll find pricing from $600 to $4000 and it’s not the profit margin making up the difference.  Internal switching speeds, warranty, ability to stack/scale, power of Ethernet, 10GB, etc all make a huge difference.  We recently worked on a client’s network where our competitor bid (18) 24 port switches to give the client 400 GB ports all at a cost of $550 per switch or $10k.  Our bid was $20k and our client properly asked us about the $10k difference.  They wanted to do business with KME, so they asked us to supply to cheaper switches and we’d close the deal.  Our response was no, we couldn’t do that in good faith and we explained the technical differences.  We had a lifetime warranty, faster internal switch speeds, 10GB connectivity between floors instead of 1GB and fewer switches as well.  Once we went over the design, we got the PO on the spot.  The client appreciated the thought and concerns we had on their behalf and quickly saw the differences between the “identical” switches.
  1. I just need a few faster switches and my network will be better.
    Maybe, maybe not.   If your network traffic is clean and you don’t have any protocol errors, chatty devices, misconfigured ports, etc then a faster switch should help.  But this doesn’t eliminate the need to do some basic network traffic review. Throwing money at new equipment isn’t always the answer.    Most recently, we helped a client get even more performance from an existing solution.  18 months ago a client got a SQL server from us along with a strong GB core switch.  We decided to stay at GB speeds as 10GB was a little too pricey.  Fast forward to now and the client now needed more speed.  Easy we replied!  We added a 10GB network card to the server and a 10GB dual port module to the switch they already owned.   The client forgot we had planned for this and we came in 75% under her expected budget.
  1. I don’t need anyone to help me design my LAN.
    While this is true for many clients, they still lose out.  We know the latest manufacturer promotions, what firmware to use and what product is about to go end-of-life.   We know which product lines are better within the same manufacturer.  And you won’t pay more either as we provide exact part numbers so you can rest assured online pricing is not better.  Plus if there is an equipment problem, its KME’s issue to return/replace and not yours.  You’ll save time and money  by using our experienced engineers.

If you think you need a new LAN or just want to discuss the options, give us a call at 949-462-7001 or send us a note here.

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