The Top Reasons Why You’d Want Cisco Switches

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There’s plenty of good networking equipment out there…but not all of it is exceptional. Cisco switches? They’re on a whole ‘nother level. Here’re four very good reasons to deploy these bad boys in your own infrastructure:

Security

The ability of a Cisco switch to deliver maximum network uptime means that there is a lesser chance of malicious infiltration and data leaking due to the decrease in downtime. It’s well-known that their units run a tight ship and lay the smackdown when it comes to integrating firewalls, intrusion prevention and VLANs.

Scalability

As technology progresses rapidly and your business’ needs change, so too will the roles your IT hardware plays. Cisco’s switches, in particular, are so flexible that they can work for a network of nearly any size and are modularly upgradeable, allowing you to save the time and money it would take to implement new solutions or overhaul your switching gear.

Mobility

The workspace is quickly evolving to become more than just the cubicle. As IT mobility becomes ubiquitous, users are working more from home, cafés and remote offices. Employees and visitors are bringing their own devices (BYOD), and along with those devices comes the issue of bringing their own unsecure network (BYON) into and out of the office. Cisco has what they call “converged wired-wireless access” incorporated into their last few models of switches; this technology allows for things like secure access, guest access and seamless roaming for users accessing the network via mobile device.

Efficiency

Slash the power bills and waste less. A stackable Cisco switch will outperform and outlive many similar units in its class. The units themselves are energy efficient and are cost effective to deploy and keep running.

Cisco’s got a great goal for all IT professionals to remember through all of this:

“Deliver an uncompromised user experience on any workspace.”

We can help with that delivery. So, if you have any IT hardware needs, we are the used Cisco reseller to go to. Contact us today for a quote and let’s see if we can’t provide you with a first-rate switch with first-rate savings.

Snowpocalypse 2.0 (Winter Storm Pax) Descends Upon ATL, 90% Chance of Panic

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It’s Coming…

The Snowpocalypse (v.2.0) is upon us…or, in this case, what I’m going to go ahead and dub ICEPOCALYPSE.

Yes, the threat of Icepocalypse is very real. What’s the fuss? you might ask, after failing to notice a single snowflake, It’s only a little rain…

This is where you are dead wrong, friend.

All you need to do is step into a metro Atlanta Kroger and you will see pure chaos, the likes of which you’ve never seen. Milk shelves are empty. Chicken breasts? Gone. As for the bread shelves, paleo diets are out….carbs are way, way in. AND SOMEONE TOOK ALL THE KRISPY KREMES!

Okay, maybe we’re not getting the most snow/ice possible, but it’s enough for folks down here to react strongly enough to, so mind the panic. We hope that all those in our community will stay safe regardless, and we’re looking forward to seeing/hearing about more acts of do-goodery by our fellow ATL denizens.

Also, pre-packed, sodium-filled deli meats were apparently in high demand:

The #snowpocalypse cometh. QUICK, GRAB ALL THE DELI MEATS

A post shared by Geoffrey Hanan (@_frank_lotion_) on

Winter Storm Brings Metro Atlanta to Its Knees

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Photo Courtesy of Snowed Out Atlanta

It’s been all over the news. On Tuesday afternoon, January 28th, 2014, snow began to fall in Atlanta. What started out as a light dusting continuously came down to quickly form 2 inches…and it stuck. Any snow that ever falls in Atlanta rarely sticks to the ground, as it stays generally pretty warm. However, weeks of below-freezing weather had primed our area for the best (worst?) conditions for the storm dubbed “Leon” to have its reign of terror. Roads began to slush up, and with temperatures rapidly reaching the 20s (and eventually the teens overnight), Atlanta became Rockefeller Center (but without all the cocoa and smiles). Seemingly everyone in the immediate universe left work at the same exact time at about 1pm that day, causing a massive gridlock worthy of Walking Dead proportions.

The chaotic scramble to get home turned into an 18-hour ordeal for some. Children were stuck in schools and, even worse, in buses that were in transit at the time of the gridlock. Little to no preparations were made by the city as far as treating the roads ahead of time (this writer didn’t see a single plow truck or vehicle salting the roads on his 2-hour drive home). As a result, folks abandoned their vehicles (mostly on I-285) and trekked through the snow to find shelter and food for the day. One of planIT HARDWARE’s very own employees, Doug Love, was a victim of this gridlock, and ended up taking part in the exodus (and occasional fun) that ensued. Before finding his own shelter in the form of a friend’s not-too-far house, Doug snapped a few pictures to post on Instagram, one of which became virally shared by publications like Business Insider and Buzzfeed in their coverage of the spectacle.

#75North #gridlock #atlanta #blizzard stuck on a frozen bridge❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️

A post shared by Doug Love (@dfresh999) on

We’re very proud of Doug for not only surviving (good job, Doug) but also helping others out, having fun and becoming an unwitting Field Correspondent via his snapshot. The silver lining in all this is that this storm brought out the best in people in our community (like the folks who started the Snowed Out Atlanta page on Facebook, which led to hundreds of people connecting and helping one another amidst the crisis). There are many articles from various media outlets highlighting the do-goodery that ensued; I suggest you give it a Google.  

We Want to Thank You…

planit hardware warehouse banner, planit hardware, planithw, used it hardware, used network hardware, used cisco reseller, used cisco, computer networking hardware, network hardware, it hardware, nib, nob, eol Hey folks! Like a young infant, progressing from having the limited mobility of a capsized turtle to stumbling about like a club-footed drunken sailor, 2014 is just getting its footing (*insert ‘they grow up so fast’ sentiment here*) and we’re happy to say that with this new year comes a new planIT HARDWARE.

Did you hear that we’ve moved into a new location? We wrote about it here.

Yep, we’ve settled in to our official new location in Smyrna, just outside of Atlanta. The warehouse is bigger and comfortably houses all of our inventory (with enough room for a new, half-court basketball setup). There’s a workout room with mirrored walls and a mounted flatscreen TV, a full kitchen with dishwasher (no more pruney fingers for this keyboard) and industrial Keurig machine (“Coffee? Sure, give me 45 seconds.”), and a large open-floor cube farm (hi guys!). On top of this, we’ve got a new, dedicated testing lab that our head technician, Paul Saunders, is quite pleased with. All of these factors add up to one thing: our company is growing.

For those of you who have been following our journey in one way or another, 2014 was a big year, and after two award wins and 2 new hires in 2013 (not to mention our fourth consecutive year of revenue growth), we’re ready to keep growing. Now we have a place to grow into.

Thanks to all of our clients, vendors, end-users, and readers of the blog. It’s one big family at planIT HARDWARE, and we like to think of you all as part of that.

planIT HARDWARE Shaves Goodbye to Movember

moustache man, planit hardware, used cisco, fundraising, movember, mustache, spiceworksplanIT HARDWARE raises awareness and donations for Movember, the mustache-themed prostate cancer and general men’s health awareness month.

Movember has officially ended, and with it a whole trend of beard growing and a voluntary ban on facial hair shaving. Expect to see those who played by the rules rocking their mustaches in full glory for the next few days (or weeks, for the truly dedicated). According to the official rules (as per us.movember.com) participants start the month of November clean-shaven, spending the next 30 days growing and grooming their new crumb dusters, with no shaving allowed. Some opt to grow just the mustache out, while others bring in a full beard (or whatever they can muster up) before shaving all but the focal area off. As they do this, some are asking for contributions and sponsorship to donate to men’s health organizations, mainly through the Movember website, while all others are raising awareness of these issues (such as prostate and testicular cancers) just by sporting the new look.

“Globally, the funds raised…support world-class men’s health programs that combat prostate and testicular cancer and mental health challenges. These programs, directed by the Movember Foundation, are focused on awareness and education…and research to achieve our vision of an everlasting impact on the face of men’s health.” (via us.Movember.com)

planIT HARDWARE launched an awareness campaign last month on the online IT community Spiceworks. For every mustache picture posted in our message board thread, we donated $10. We gave the most upvoted, popular ‘stache pics some cool prizes, including shaving kits and a grand prize of a year-long supply of craft beer. As of yesterday, the company has raised nearly $450 for the Movember Foundation and men’s health issues.

So, now that it’s December, you can boldly rock the ‘stache or wipe the slate clean, but don’t forget to stay healthy and conduct yourself like a true country gentleman! [A big shoutout to all the Mo’ Sisters who put up with all of the unkemptness flying around this month.]

How Can 3750X Switches Support Demanding Applications?

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X marks the spot in terms of industry-leading security when it comes to Cisco Catalyst 3750X Series switches.These stackable enterprise-class switches have proven to be tougher to break through than King Hippo from Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out.

Everyone remembers the left and right jabs King Hippo would throw before he opened his massive mouth.  His hand would raise and Little Mac would defeat the King with a malicious assault to the head.

With Flexible NetFlow to protect against malicious behavior, the 3750X also uses MACsec layer-2 encryption to protect confidentiality and TrustSec to provide identity-based access control.

Little Mac had the support of Doc Louis, the “heavy-puncher.”  With a 3750X, you will have the support of non-stop communications with redundant hot swappable power supplies, cooling fans, and network modules.

So, let’s take a look at the stats:

Name Age Rank
3750x New or Refurbished #1 in (QoS)

  •   Prioritizes business-critical traffic, such as   video, with Strict Priority Queuing
  •   Validates network readiness and simplifies   troubleshooting with Mediatrace and Traffic Simulator
From Weight Record
Cisco 18 lbs Lower Cost of Operation

  •   Reduces operating expense and increases   corporate sustainability with Cisco EnergyWise power management
  •   Simplifies deployment, configuration and control   with Cisco Catalyst Smart Operations
Leadership
Power over Ethernet (PoE) Leadership

  •   Supports up to 48 PoE+ ports, each delivering   up to 30 Watts

Visit planIT Hardware for more information on the 3750X, or visit the links above.

Rest Assured: Product Testing for Refurbished Network Equipment

The thrift shop has always been a treasure trove for the frugal and pragmatic shopper– Macklemore will tell you himself. But when you purchase that denim vest or Russian fur hat, can you rest assured that it’s been checked for fleas, disinfected and cleansed from the smell of cat? Are you sure those seams won’t burst apart the next time you put on your crushed velvet blazer that you got for $5.99? That wallet says “Coach” but who’s to say the previous owner didn’t pick it up on Canal St in New York from a guy named Don wearing the same denim vest that you just purchased ? Now, I’m not knocking purchasing secondhand at all–in fact, I love it. But I’m careful; integrity is a virtue.

Here at planIT Hardware, we test each product that we receive to ensure it is of the utmost quality. When a supply of new or new-in-box items arrives, we’ll open a box to test a sample for quality assurance purposes. Allow me to further extol the virtues of buying used/refurbished/end-of-life by setting your mind at ease with this explanation of our testing process here at the warehouse.

When an item first arrives at our warehouse, it often comes with a test sheet or sticker, certifying it has been tested and evaluated. Nevertheless, we will test regardless. The first thing we look for are physical defects/damages. We will place a circuit board, for example, under a microscope, ensuring that things such as capacitors and resistors are intact. Once it passes visual inspection, we will insert it into one of several chassis in our lab to make sure it functions properly. If it’s damaged and we cannot repair it, we will send it to a specialist who can.

Our process is fairly extensive from here. Let’s say a switch passes visual inspection. We will then connect it to a console and see if it is pre-configured. If it is, then we will set it back to factory defaults and wipe out any data that’s on it. This is a big part of our service, as setting an item back to factory defaults is a big convenience for end-users.

After this, we’ll run diagnostics on it and continue cleaning it up. Part of the process from here includes firing up ports and passing data across them to make sure they function. We will do whatever we can to test an item; if we don’t have the proper chassis to test an item on we will borrow a chassis, outsource testing to specialists, or purchase the proper chassis to add to our lab.

Once an item’s been tested. We will print out test sheets, attach them to the piece of the equipment and set them out to be stored. If the item is bad, we’ll repair it. If there are exterior cosmetic defects, we’ll repaint or refinish items to restore them. We’ll even clean out dust from the inside of a piece of equipment to ensure it’s in better condition than when we received it.

And you can be assured that our items are original and from the manufacturer. This is probably the biggest concern in the used market. If research is necessary on our end, we will make sure we know every last detail about how an item does and should function. If we find out an item that we’ve received is a counterfeit, we don’t mess around: we will destroy it no matter what. We will never send a counterfeit item back into the market, not even to the person or people who passed it to us–we’ll destroy it and send evidence back to the supplier that it was a fake.

So, unlike that Russian fur hat that’s suddenly making you itchy, you don’t have to wonder if our items are clean and authentic. When it comes to product testing, planIT Hardware has integrity.