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Extreme's New Warranty Nearly On Par With ProCurve

If your vendor isn't Cisco, then they're battling it out for your share of the remaining 30% of the enterprise switch market. Extreme Networks is enhancing their standard warranty for their switches in an attempt to attract price conscious IT shops. The new warranty applies to switches purchased after June 29th, 2009, the end of Extreme's fiscal year. Extreme's warranty is taking aim at HP ProCurve.

Enterprise switches are nearly commodity items. They all sport similar features: 24-48 Gb ports, 1 or 10Gb uplink modules, optional Power over Ethernet, back-plane cables to daisy chain switches together, firmware that routes and switches, and GUI or CLI based management systems. Other than the color of the hardware and the price point, there is little that separates the product lines.

In many organizations, the bulk of their Ethernet ports are in the LAN, interconnecting users' work stations to the network, which means enterprises purchase more, lower cost switches. Support for that equipment, often 15%-20% of the purchase price, adds to the ongoing maintenance cost of the hardware.

Extreme Networks' new limited lifetime warranty is a vast improvement over their older support plan which warranteed hardware and software for 90 days--something we dinged Extreme on in InformationWeek's enterprise switch Rolling Review, Switch It Up. Extreme's limited lifetime warranty offers next-business-day equipment replacement, business-hour phone support Monday-Friday, and software maintenance releases until the product model reaches End-of Live. Extreme is also discontinuing their Advanced Hardware Program as of September 28th, which offered 48 hour hardware replacement since their limited lifetime warranty is superior to their 48 hour program. Extreme will continue to honor existing contracts until they end. Of course, Extreme also has optional enhanced support programs; some will have reduced pricing, which offer 4 hour on-site service, 24x7x365 technical assistance and software upgrades.

Extreme's limited lifetime warranty is now only surpassed by HP ProCurves. Procurve's limited lifetime warranty covers most of their equipment, features next-business-day replacement for the life of the product and software upgrades, as well as maintenance releases and bug fixes.

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