engineer working in a network center

IT Strategy |

5 ways to deal with the network equipment shortage

Are you having trouble finding essential network equipment? You’re not alone.
The factors contributing to longer lead times are multi-faceted, and so are the solutions. 

Are you having trouble finding essential network equipment? You’re not alone.
The factors contributing to longer lead times are multi-faceted, and so are the solutions. 

During the COVID-19 outbreak, Antonio Neri, president, and CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, said this about the pandemic-related supply chain disruption: “It’s not going to be easy, but I actually believe we’re going to be in a much better shape after the summer of 2022.” Well, it is summer of 2022 and OEMs are still struggling to keep up with customer expectations.  

Now, 200 – 300 day lead times are common, and we’ve seen 430+ days quoted in writing to customers. Our experience has been validated by Gartner, who recently wrote that long lead times for new networking equipment will continue into 2023. 

If extended lead times are forcing you to make adjustments to your network strategy.

Our recommendations

  • Get a handle on the overall health of your network Consider Secondary Market Hardware
    Over the past 25 years, enterprises of all sizes have added the purchase of pre-owned switches, servers and other network equipment to their procurement strategies. This $2 billion global market empowers those companies to act quickly and keep critical projects on schedule. Edgeium is a leader in that market, and you count on us to provide better-than-new equipment within days, not months.
  • Optimize Existing Assets
    Most enterprise data center and campus switches are overprovisioned. The rationale to over-provision was typically made to enable growth and/or simplify (structured) cabling. Consider consolidating connectivity to free switch usage. This will require network changes/re-cabling, but it’s an option you should keep in mind.  

      • Modify your network 
      • Defer deployment 
      • Increase port usage / density
  • Plan at least one year ahead for new projects
    If you’re planning on working through an OEM channel partner for network expansion or new deployments, give yourself a lot of runway. None of the supply chain issues responsible for these long lead times are likely to go away in the next few years.
  • Get a handle on the overall health of your network
    Trusted partners like Edgeium can perform full network assessments to help you make better decisions about where to invest and what to prioritize in an environment of scarce resources. When your upgrades are delayed by a year, it’s critical to extend the life of deployed systems (and save up to 80%) by bridging that gap with third-party maintenance on your EOS hardware.
  • Think Outside the Box
    In an environment of scarcity and rising costs, look for opportunities to shift the paradigm. Perhaps “Hardware-as-a-Service” is an option. Maybe it’s a good idea *not* to dump five-year old equipment in a landfill if you don’t have to. Use the disruption to envision a better, more flexible, and more sustainable network infrastructure.


For the next 12 to 24 months, there will not be any appreciable change to equipment lead times. At the moment, Cisco’s hardware backlog is nearly $14 billion. A 150% year-over-year increase.  At Edgeium, we believe in transparency, communication and giving our customers the best options to avoid supply chain challenges before they become bigger headaches. 

As part of our mission to be of maximum value to our customers, we are conducting a survey to  to stay in front of emerging trends in our industry. If you would like to be a part of it or if you want to get our insights, please click below. 

Be part of our survey


Why choose Edgeium

No Lead Times

Third Party Support

Advanced Lifetime Warranty

We have everything you need. Our procurement chain spans OEMS, channel partners and even Edgeium customers to get you the best hardware.

Edgeium customers save up to 70% on annual maintenance costs compared to OEM support plans.

We got you covered. Every Edgeium hardware purchase comes standard with a lifetime warranty.

If you want to get more information about how we can help you expand your network, let us get in touch with you and fill out the form below.

IT professional provides support on laptop

Need a strategic plan to optimize your network's performance? We can help!

We’ll work with your CFO, CTO or leadership team to design and implement strategic plans that meet your budget needs and optimize your network’s performance.


Related Insights

Two men in a server room, looking at computer screens

Let’s review your network together. Next