Identifying End-of-Life and End-of-Sales Products

Terry Slattery
Principal Architect

You can save a lot of money by identifying obsolete products in your network that are costing more money to  keep on maintenance contracts than replacement products cost.  Vendors announce their obsolete products with End-of-Life or End-of-Sales postings.  I would like to see the creation of a central repository and format for this information, so that it is easy for anyone to determine which equipment is out of date.  There is a common format in use for security announcements, so why not a similar format for EOL/EOS products?

The advantage to a central repository is that network management vendors can incorporate the data into their products, even building a regular update mechanism, that would allow network administrators to generate periodic reports on the “age of the fleet” of the products in their networks.

Cisco has a start at a centralized repository, but it is lacking a common format that makes it easy to download and incorporate into other systems:

The Cisco repository is a wiki, which seems an interesting approach.  I wasn’t able to edit one of the pages.   I also found that the Cisco 7300 Content Engine quickly wound up in a circular URL reference and didn’t give the dates of the EOL/EOS announcements.  Sad If it is true wiki, it needs to be editable by anyone.  If it is to be maintained only by Cisco, it should say that and not have editing links.

I found the EOL/EOS wiki from a link on the Cisco Learning Network home page, under the heading Related Cisco Links.  Once on the support wiki page, I found the link by scrolling to the bottom of the box labeled “Select a Product, Technology, or Solution”.  Let me know if you’re aware of a good source for EOL/EOS data.  Cisco has an internal EOL/EOS database, but some people within Cisco want to sell that data instead of using it to allow customers to better manage their product base.

I wonder how difficult it would be to parse EOL/EOS announcements that are emailed out to customers as a way to automatically populate a public database.  In general, it would depend on whether the messages have a small number of common formats that could be easily parsed.



Re-posted with Permission 

NetCraftsmen would like to acknowledge Infoblox for their permission to re-post this article which originally appeared in the Applied Infrastructure blog under


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Nick Kelly

Cybersecurity Engineer, Cisco

Nick has over 20 years of experience in Security Operations and Security Sales. He is an avid student of cybersecurity and regularly engages with the Infosec community at events like BSides, RVASec, Derbycon and more. The son of an FBI forensics director, Nick holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice and is one of Cisco’s Fire Jumper Elite members. When he’s not working, he writes cyberpunk and punches aliens on his Playstation.


Virgilio “BONG” dela Cruz Jr.

CCDP, CCNA V, CCNP, Cisco IPS Express Security for AM/EE
Field Solutions Architect, Tech Data

Virgilio “Bong” has sixteen years of professional experience in IT industry from academe, technical and customer support, pre-sales, post sales, project management, training and enablement. He has worked in Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) as a member of the WAN and LAN Switching team. Bong now works for Tech Data as the Field Solutions Architect with a focus on Cisco Security and holds a few Cisco certifications including Fire Jumper Elite.


John Cavanaugh

CCIE #1066, CCDE #20070002, CCAr
Chief Technology Officer, Practice Lead Security Services, NetCraftsmen

John is our CTO and the practice lead for a talented team of consultants focused on designing and delivering scalable and secure infrastructure solutions to customers across multiple industry verticals and technologies. Previously he has held several positions including Executive Director/Chief Architect for Global Network Services at JPMorgan Chase. In that capacity, he led a team managing network architecture and services.  Prior to his role at JPMorgan Chase, John was a Distinguished Engineer at Cisco working across a number of verticals including Higher Education, Finance, Retail, Government, and Health Care.

He is an expert in working with groups to identify business needs, and align technology strategies to enable business strategies, building in agility and scalability to allow for future changes. John is experienced in the architecture and design of highly available, secure, network infrastructure and data centers, and has worked on projects worldwide. He has worked in both the business and regulatory environments for the design and deployment of complex IT infrastructures.