Switches to Buy With the Best ROI

By Kevin Stewart
Updated: July 25, 2011

Switches to Buy With the Best ROI

Return on Investment (ROI) is a way of quantifying the economic advantage of a particular asset purchase. It is usually expressed as the length of time it takes for a business to recover the cost of purchase for equipment or services. For example, if it takes 5 months to recover the cost of a network switch based on the cost savings associated with the new switch, then the switch would be considered to have a 5 month ROI.

In addition to cost reduction, there is the network upgrade and simplification factor. By using new switches to support higher data throughput, eliminate redundancy, and simplify networks, you can also experience increased productivity and other benefits that lead to greater ROI.


Probably the most recognized name in networking, Cisco Systems offers switches for every category from home use through enterprise and service provider environments. Available either directly or thorough resellers, Cisco switches are produced in a large number of configurations. For replacement or upgrade of your network, you can find a Cisco solution. The ROI for any choice you make will depend on your existing network cost structure and how much new or advanced capability you are adding and how that affects your future business.


With an aggressive approach to sales and service, Dell offers some of the lowest cost solutions available in networking. With new and refurbished switches available directly from the manufacturer, Dell is able to present a low cost and high value option for small and medium sized business. If your organization has the IT and networking expertise to take advantage of this no-frills approach, that can greatly reduce costs of acquisition and increase overall ROI.


HP is a market leader in network switches. Their line of switches includes those that support fully managed, 10 Gigabit Ethernet, IPv6 routing, stacking, and other advanced capabilities. Although these advanced switches can be very high cost items, in some cases they can replace several racks of legacy network equipment. For this reason, a thorough analysis of the existing cost of maintaining outdated equipment and the opportunity cost of not upgrading must be completed. This will help generate a more realistic evaluation of ROI for a network switch purchase.

Evaluating ROI for networking equipment like switches is not a simple task, because it involves more than just matching capabilities for existing equipment and replacing it with the same equipment. Every network equipment replacement should involve upgrading where possible, and in that analysis, new benefits and advantages are possible. When looking for the switch with the best ROI, make sure your purchase decision includes a complete analysis of your network costs and benefits.

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