Your Network Hardware Draft: Our Top Players

nfl, nfl draft, IT hardware, IT buying guide, network hardware buying guide, top-selling network hardware, top-selling cisco, cisco, cisco systems, 3750x, 3650x, 3560xWith the NFL draft behind us now, we can see how different teams are shaping up for the upcoming season. Sure, this year’s draft didn’t have the excitement of years past: last year, the first three picks were Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, and Trent Richardson–all of whom are franchise players. With Eric Fisher, Luke Joeckel and Dion Jordan as the first three picks, it’s obvious that, this year, teams focused more on the offensive line and players that do most of the hard work; jersey sales will be mediocre. Eric Fisher was a good choice by the Kansas City Chiefs, and he will definitely add serious value to their organization.  Yesterday, we spoke about the underdogs and how players drafted in later rounds can still make the biggest impact in the league. It still blows my mind that Tom Brady was the 199th overall pick back in 2000. These guys that were underrated are now considered some of the biggest playmakers in the game.

Below is a list of a few products that planIT HARDWARE considers to be the biggest players in our arena. These items will have a big impact on your business, so check out to see our entire inventory!






The Cisco Catalyst 3750-X and 3560-X Series Switches are enterprise-class lines of stackable and standalone switches, respectively. These switches provide high availability, scalability, security, energy efficiency, and ease of operation with innovative features such as Cisco StackPower. The Cisco Catalyst 3750-X Series with StackWise Plus technology provides scalability, ease of management and investment protection for the evolving business’ needs.

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Your Network Hardware Draft: Let Us Pick Your Top Players


With the NFL Draft set to begin this Thursday, there is a lot of buzz around which player will be drafted in the glamorous # 1 pick. Many experts are going with Texas A&M’s offensive tackle, Luke Joeckel. He sure does fit the mold in many categories: a 6’6” 310 lb 21 year old who was a unanimous All-American selection. As of today, many scouts have him as the #1 overall pick, which no offensive tackle has done since Jake Long back in 2008. According to many online sport sites, he is considered to be the most polished lineman out of the college ranks—but who will be the big surprise? Every year, there are players that go under the radar and end up being some of the biggest names in the NFL. Back in 2000, a fellah by the name of Tom Brady was drafted as the 199th overall pick. Moving forward a few years, Tom has won 3 Super Bowl rings, was twice named the Super Bowl MVP and won 3 Offensive Player of the Year titles. Needless to say, for a guy picked with 198 people in front of him he has definitely “out-punted his coverage” and moved on to become a football legend. Many analysts consider him the best pick of all time!

Just like the NFL does by selecting the best of the best year in and year out, consumers looking for the best network hardware equipment have an extensive list to look over. There are products that are brand new—costing a small fortune—and will live up to all the excitement surrounding them. There are also the Tom Brady’s of the group: maybe a little dated, maybe not in the headlines of every blog or network hardware article, but “out-punting their coverage.” When we got down to thinking about this question—which products get the customer the most bang for their buck?—we thought about the DELL PowerConnect series. The PowerConnect series offers a set of flexible, manageable and comprehensive switch solutions supporting up to 10 Gigabit Ethernet and optimized iSCSI performance with DELL storage solutions. The PowerConnect series is significantly less expensive than its competition and does a great job for the price. These switches are very capable, smart switches at very competitive prices. In most cases you will be getting quite the bang for your buck.

Nevertheless, we strive to have an extensive inventory here at planIT Hardware: we offer everything from the Cisco 3750X right down to the Dell PowerConnect series. Visit to see our entire inventory.

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The Secondary Market is Still Thriving

cardboard box, secondary market, gray market, grey market, nib, nob, new in box, new open box, IT hardware, eol, end of lifeEarlier this week, we looked at how the advent of the Internet created an open-source free market of sorts. The Internet gave more power to the people, allowing for sharing and trading from consumer to consumer. Eventually, consumers themselves began starting their own small business within this online marketplace. When you bring a pizza to the party, everyone’s gonna want a slice.

Soon enough, programs like Napster arrived, allowing for what is known as peer-to-peer, or P2P, sharing of files—in this case, digital music files. Metallica, among a few other big-name bands and major labels, lashed out at the web upstart (founded by a college dropout and a web wunderkind) with lawsuits. Even though Napster settled the lawsuits and lost its relevancy among the general public, it changed the game in the music industry, and forced even the big leagues to adapt to these changes. Since then, many small businesses, websites and companies have sprung up to become players in the music industry.

For years, Cisco had labeled the secondary market for IT hardware as a gray market, stating that when products are purchased through this “gray market,” rather than through Cisco, they (Cisco) cannot guarantee the source and quality of those products. They shunned the secondary market for years, considering it a threat to the sale of their new equipment. Finally, back in the fall of 2011, Cisco announced that it will embrace the resale of its own used equipment by reselling its own refurbished equipment to non-authorized Cisco brokers on the “gray market.”  Secondary equipment resellers have been waiting on this “If you can’t beat them, join them” attitude for quite a long time.  And while Cisco still doesn’t make it easy for “gray market” vendors to sell to Cisco end-users from outside of the channel, their own sales of used Cisco equipment act as an affirmation that what they label as the “gray market” is actually a legitimate marketplace.

The secondary market is an actual ecosystem of tech resellers and active customers (end-users) that are buying and selling such equipment outside of the channel endorsed by manufacturers. Secondary-market resellers are best known for providing used or refurbished equipment at a fraction of the cost of if it were to be purchased new.  It is also worth mentioning that not ALL of the equipment on the secondary market is old equipment. Many secondary resellers provide a quantity of new equipment that was purchased from a manufacturer’s overstock. Bankruptcies have terminated many IT projects, and changing business demands can cause the end-user to actually never utilize or even open the products. Resellers can acquire used equipment from IT organizations that are upgrading or shifting technologies. These resellers then test and refurbish the equipment thoroughly before making it available for resale. There are many benefits of buying in the secondary market; value proposition on the cost of new vs. refurbished equipment is the main thesis here, but let’s not forget product availability and quick shipping times. Most resellers have inventory that ranges from current back down the line to 5 years ago. This gives the ultimate end-user a “price range/equipment needs” to work with when deciding which products to buy. Shipping most products within 24-72 hours–compared to the 3-5 weeks it takes for a manufacturer to build the product–holds an immense value alone.

Here at planIT HARDWARE, we take pride in providing our customers with new and refurbished equipment. Every product sold has a one year warranty (for end-users) and has been put through a series of tests by our in-house technicians to ensure that it is in great working condition.


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Don’t Blow It: Properly Invest Your Tax Refund

ImageWith tax season in the rearview mirror for most of us, I thought it would be a good time to get a short list of tax tips together for small businesses for next year while the topic is still fresh in our minds. Read over these and see ways you could have saved yourself time, money, giant headaches, etc. Below are 5 tips for small business taxes:

1)      Gather your records:

– Bank statements, expense receipts (have to spend money to make money!), old tax forms, payroll info and any documentation to support any possible deduction.

2)      Deductions:

– Find a deduction guide and go through these carefully. If you are feeling uncomfortable, get a tax professional to walk you through this—otherwise, it can end up costing you more than what that nice, smiling face at XYZ Tax Professionals was going to charge you!

3)      Fulfill your role as an employer:

– Keep careful records of employees’ and contractors’ info. Getting this information and paperwork to employees is just as crucial as getting your own taxes paid on time.

4)      Tend to your retirement account

-Depending on if it is a 401k, Roth IRA, or any other type of retirement account, be sure you are putting enough money into those accounts. If you do not have one then get one set up. Speak to an accountant and see how much you can set aside in these retirement accounts.

5)      Free IRS Resources

-Check out the IRS website to see all of their free tax-related guides.

Now that we have gone over 5 easy steps to stay ahead of the TAX MAN…what to do with all of the extra cash? An old saying in business is, “You have to spend money to make money.” Investing money back into small businesses is vital to seeing them grow. Just like the millions of people that wait until the last minute to do their taxes, many companies operate with a dated network system that might be on the verge dying, so take that tax refund check and get new or used network equipment as a backup.  Instead of blowing that money on a Hawaiian vacation you should visit and see how we are saving our customers 60-90% on network equipment. Putting money back into your small business might just be the thing that keeps it going!


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New In Box, New Open Box…..What Does That Really Mean?

When it comes to buying new or used network hardware equipment what do sellers really mean? NEW, USED, REFURBISHED, NEW-OPEN-BOX, NEW-IN-BOX are all terms that people use to describe their equipment, but such terms can be used loosely. Here, I will list these terms and explain exactly what they mean so we can cut down on confusion and people can get back to not working while watching the Masters.

NEW: New – Indicates that the item is unopened and direct from Cisco or the manufacturer.

NIB: New In Box – Condition is the same as if it had come direct from manufacturer.

NOB: New Open Box – Box has been opened. Basically the same as NIB, but the seller should state if the inner static bag has been opened for product testing purposes. All of the accessories and packaging should be there as if it had been purchased new.

REF: Refurbished – Equipment has been restored to good cosmetic and working condition. Items have undergone a series of inspections and tests to make sure they are in good working condition.

planIT HARDWARE sells new, refurbished, and NOB IT hardware with a 90-day(vendors)/1-year(end-users) warranty and any refurbished equipment has been put through rigorous testing to ensure that all items are in excellent working condition. We pride ourselves on saving our clients 60-90% in discounts. Please visit

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The Masters of IT Hardware

 c3750, cisco systems, dell, dell poweredge, hewlett-packard, hp, it hardware, masters, poweredge, startup, tech startup, technological innovation, the mastersWith the world’s greatest golfers taking the stage at Augusta National this week, I thought it was perfect timing to compare some of IT hardware’s biggest players side-by-side and give a little history on these companies. Just like Tiger woods, Phil Mickleson and young-gun Rory McIlroy are in a constant battle to hold the grandest of golf titles, the same goes for Cisco, Dell and HP. Some of these companies, just like these golfers, have bigger budgets and resources than others. Sure, they are all on the same playing field, but Cisco is the most recognizable name in the industry, just like Tiger Woods has been called the “world’s most marketable athlete” and has endorsement deals in the 100 million dollar range. I’m going to compare Dell and HP to Rory Mclrory and Phil Mickleson as Dell is the youngest of the three just like Rory and HP being the oldest like Mickelson who is five years Woods’ senior. Now, after doing a little research, I’ve found in fact that HP has the highest revenues of the three, followed by Dell, with Cisco coming in 3rd. I was surprised by these results, but then again we are not here to discuss how these companies have handled mergers and acquisitions, but more so to give a little history of how they came about in the IT hardware industry.

Fun Fact: Cisco Systems, Inc.’s  sole industry is networking equipment, whereas  Dell and HP focus on computer hardware, software, IT consulting and IT services.

Cisco Systems, Inc.  was founded in 1984 by a married couple who worked at Stanford University.

Move forward to March of 2000: the company is now public, the married couple has been gone for years, and Cisco is the most valuable company in the world. Meanwhile, Tiger has won all 4 of the different majors tournaments in a row from 2000-2001 with a world ranking of #1 as well. He is still the only player to have accomplished this. Today, just like Tiger, Cisco has dropped down in world rankings over the years but has fought its way back. One of Cisco’s 3 market segments consists of small businesses. Products that are needed for small businesses include: switches, routers, voice, conferencing, wireless access points and network storage systems.

Dell was formed in 1984 by Michael Dell while he was a student at the University of Texas.

By 1985, Dell had dropped out of school and his company grossed more than 73 million in its first year of operation. In 1992, Michael Dell becomes the youngest CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Rory McIIroy wasn’t even born until 1989 in Northern Ireland and by the age of 22 had claimed the #1 world ranking.  Dell also has different market segments and their small business products include PowerEdge Serves and PowerConnect Switches.

From humble beginnings in a garage in Palo Atlo, CA, Hewlett-Packard (HP) was officially founded in 1939 by two Stanford alumni with an initial capital investment of $538 dollars.

HP is another company that, like Cisco, began with the creative minds of people from Stanford University. Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard flipped a coin to see whose name would come first, and by 1957, the company had gone public. It wasn’t until the 1970’s that HP came out with a business computing server. Moving right along into 2009, HP acquired 3Comm and made a move into the networking gear market that had been dominated by Cisco. HP’s networking business unit, ProCurve, is responsible for the family of network switches, wireless access points, and routers. Much like HP, Phil Mickelson has come up under the radar; despite winning many PGA events, he was often described as “the best golfer to never win a major.” He had many 2nd and 3rd place finishes in major events but could never seem to break away as the victor. Finally, in 2004, he won at the Augusta National after sinking an 18-foot putt, marking his first Major Championship. He has since gone on to win a number of Major Championships despite never holding the #1 world ranking.


All in all, these golfers have shaped the game, just as these companies have shaped and changed the IT hardware industry forever. Some are front-runners that focus simply on networking equipment like Cisco, but Dell and HP are staying relevant by turning their attention to other areas of the so-called IT world. They are in a constant battle to compete with each other and provide the best to the consumer. The same goes for us here at planIT HARDWARE: we are dedicated to providing our customers with the most diverse selection of new and used networking equipment out there. From buying new Cisco equipment, like a WS-C3750-24FS-S, all the way down the line to a refurbished POWEREDGE M1000E from Dell, we offer 60-90% discounts and can in most cases provide same-day shipping. In the end, all of our products come with a warranty and can suit every customer depending on what their needs are. As the PGA says about its players, the same can be said for us: “These Guys are Good.”

Huge F***ing Router

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What comes to mind when you hear the words, ‘Huge F***ng Router’? A router so big that it takes up an entire office building, like way back in the day when a computer took up an entire room? For me, personally, I think of a little kid looking up at a computer tower the size of a skyscraper.

In today’s IT world there is no piece of equipment that is going to take up that much space. The Carrier Routing System (CRS) is a large-scale core router that was developed by Cisco Systems. These systems have the capability to combine multiple line card chassis which, in turn, allows one unit to replace a cluster of Internet core routers in a single site. While this device was in development, it was known by the code name, HFR, or, Huge F***ing Router. For the sake of keeping swearing down in offices across the globe, they later renamed it Huge Fast Router. This falls in line with the naming of Cisco’s previous service provider router (GSR 12000 series) whose developmental name was BFR (Big F’n Router). The BFR even had a logo of a giant fist punching through a globe. When this CRS-1 was launched in 2004, it became the largest production router to date, toppling one developed by Juniper Networks, an arch-enemy of Cisco. Besides being twice as fast as the competition, the CRS-1 had many more advantages that included software support and remote process placement.

Flash-forward several years later to 2010, and Cisco’s CRS now has two families: the CRS-1 and the CRS-3. CRS-3 has three times the switching capacity, with each switch-fabric line being able to process 140 Gb/s instead of the 40 Gb/s that it could process in its previous model (CRS-1). Cisco claims to currently have the fastest- and highest-capacity core routing platform in the world with the CRS-3.

Click the links below to see planIT HARDWARE’s inventory of these products: