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of a central repository and format for this information, so that it is easy for anyone to determine which equipment is out of date.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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