EOL Dates

What Are the Different EOL Dates OEMs Publish and How Do They Affect My Data Center?

Did you know that EOL announcements determine the service life of the products you use to operate your business? In the technology world, acronyms are commonplace. However, even those in the know may not understand all the meanings of these abbreviations.

But what is the difference between them?


We’re going to explain the key distinctions between EOL dates for data centers. If you want to learn more, let’s take a closer look.


What Are EOL Dates Exactly?


EOL describes the point at which a product reaches the end of its life cycle and is no longer manufactured or supported by the manufacturer. Once a product reaches EOL, it and replacement parts can no longer be ordered direct from the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer). However, many independent VARs, such as LinkSource, stock these older devices and their replacements.


In data centers, this means that once a server reaches EOL, it can no longer be supported by the OEM and should be either removed from your maintenance contract or moved to a Third-Party Maintenance company for support past EOL.


The EOSL meaning, on the other hand, is the point at which a product's service life has ended. This does not mean that the product itself has reached its end of life. In fact, products can often continue with their use after their EOSL date but support for that product (e.g., firmware updates, software patches, etc.) is no longer available.


In the technology world, EOSL and EOL are two concepts that need to be understood to properly manage a data center. How can you tell when a product has reached its end of life or end of service life? One way is by looking at your manufacturer's product lifecycle page.


This will give you an idea of how long each piece of equipment will be supported before reaching either one stage or another. Other things to consider include whether any updates are coming out soon on these pieces (if so, then they may not have reached their final stages yet) as well as if they're still widely used within their industry (or lack thereof).


What Are Some Examples Of EOL Dates?


Some examples of EOL include a laptop computer that has stopped working because its battery died or a smartphone that's become obsolete due to lack of or end of support from the company who made it.


In data centers, some examples of EOL include a server that has reached its end-of-life and no longer receives support from the manufacturer or a piece of networking equipment that the OEM has shut down due to a recall notice to prevent damage caused by overheating.


See the below chart as an example of a Cisco network switch EOL release:



End-of-life milestones and dates for the Cisco Catalyst 3560-X and 3750-X Series Switches 




End-of-Life Announcement Date

The date the document that announces the end-of-sale and end-of-life of a product is distributed to the general public.

October 31, 2015

End-of-Sale Date

The last date to order the product through Cisco point-of-sale mechanisms. The product is no longer for sale after this date.

October 30, 2016

Last Ship Date:

The last-possible ship date that can be requested from Cisco and/or its contract manufacturers. The actual ship date is dependent on lead time.

January 28, 2017

End of SW Maintenance Releases Date:

The last date that Cisco Engineering may release any final software maintenance releases or bug fixes. After this date, Cisco Engineering will no longer develop, repair, maintain, or test the product software.

October 30, 2017

End of Routine Failure Analysis Date:

The last-possible date a routine failure analysis may be performed to determine the cause of hardware product failure or defect.

October 30, 2017

End of New Service Attachment Date:

For equipment and software that is not covered by a service-and-support contract, this is the last date to order a new service-and-support contract or add the equipment and/or software to an existing service-and-support contract.

October 30, 2017


End of Vulnerability/Security Support:


The last date that Cisco Engineering may release a planned maintenance release or scheduled software remedy for a security vulnerability issue.

October 30, 2019

End of Service Contract Renewal Date:

The last date to extend or renew a service contract for the product.


January 28, 2021

Last Date of Support:




The last date to receive applicable service and support for the product as entitled by active service contracts or by warranty terms and conditions. After this date, all support services for the product are unavailable, and the product becomes obsolete.

October 31, 2021




What Does This Mean in A Data Center Environment?


EOL terms apply to any product or piece of hardware in a data center. This can include servers, switches, routers, firewalls, or even software. These products may reach their end-of-life at different times. This could depend on the manufacturer's policies.


Is A Hardware Refresh or Replacement Needed?


If these products reach their end-of-life or end of service life date, then it does not necessarily need to be replaced immediately. A company can utilize a third-party provider like LinkSource to maintain and keep the equipment in top condition. This can include placing spares on the shelf or moving the device to your TPM service contract.


However, it is always a good idea to have an upgrade path in mind so as not to disrupt operations if there are any failures or other issues associated with older hardware running unsupported firmware versions.


How Can You Make Sure That Your Data Center Has a Plan For EOSL and EOL?


The best way to make sure that your data center has a plan for both EOSL and EOL is to partner with a reliable vendor. By working with a company that specializes in data center infrastructure, you can rest assured that all of your bases are covered when it comes to product support, whether the device is EOL or brand new.


Not only will the vendor provide you with products that reach their respective end-of-life dates, but they will also help manage your entire infrastructure.


This helps to lessen any disruptions when these products reach the end of their life cycles at some point. Having an organization standing behind you to cover the management of these issues can alleviate the need to keep up with them on your own.


Streamline Your Technology


Many organizations have a need to streamline their technology. Oftentimes, this includes keeping up with EOL dates for products. Usually, this is done to maintain consistent uptime.


You'll want to do this while minimizing costs associated with replacing hardware prematurely before certain EOL dates have passed. With a variety of managed services available, keeping old equipment running efficiently while taking the correct time to replace it, couldn't be easier.


By working with LinkSource Technologies, this is possible. If you're interested in learning more, visit our website today to see the solution that LinkSource can develop for your business needs.


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