Catalyst 6500 Equipment Hits End-of-Sale Milestone

By Owen Grohman

The July 31st End-of-Sale date for the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 720-10G-3C marks the one-year-countdown until this equipment cannot be added to a Cisco service-and-support contract.

The announcement serves as a reminder to network operators using C6500 equipment that it’s time to start considering alternative support options. The good news is that these support options can replicate or better the coverage level you had, and significantly cut costs.

Beyond Reducing Costs

When a platform like the Catalyst 6500 begins to approach end-of-life, software patches are often limited to mitigating major security breaches. Cisco historically releases patches to correct those breaches to all customers, regardless of SmartNET™ status, as they did to counteract the “Heartbleed” bug in 2014. When the need to receive software updates is removed from the equation, OEM alternatives, such as NetGuard from Worldwide Supply, offer benefits that the OEM cannot match:

  • Major cost reduction (for example, current users of NetGuard for C6500 equipment save an average of 46% versus SmartNET™)
  • Streamlined TAC support, with reduced hold time to reach Level 3 Engineers
  • Ability to bundle other legacy equipment into one multi-vendor maintenance agreement

Navigating the World of OEM Alternatives

One of the difficulties for network operators is knowing which third-party options are legitimate. Here are a few questions to ask a potential third-party provider:

  • Are you TL9000 certified?
  • When we call Technical Support, what is the average time to reach a Level 3 Engineer?
  • Will we be able to track our trouble tickets and receive KPI reports?
  • Are you already supporting multiple vendors, or will our multi-vendor contract be your first?

These questions will help you differentiate between experienced partners with proven processes, and those who try to be “everything to everyone” but lack the discipline to offer true OEM alternatives.

NetGuard – Thousands of Units Already Covered

Worldwide Supply proudly offers NetGuard, which hundreds of customers have used to achieve major savings without sacrificing quality of service. We currently have thousands of units from multiple OEMs covered by NetGuard with service available in 79 countries and over 400 stocking locations. Current customers who have covered C6500 equipment with NetGuard have saved an average of 46%, while cutting in half average time to reach a CCNA (or better) certified Networking Engineer for technical support.

Please contact Worldwide Supply online, via email ( or by phone at 888.328.2266 to learn more about NetGuard — and see how we can save you money while improving your service levels for Catalyst 6500 equipment today.

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