A recent report by Dimension Data shows that 50% of enterprise network equipment -- including switches, wireless devices and routers -- is either aging or obsolete ... the highest rate in six years.

Dimension Data's director of business development for networking, Raoul Tecala, speculates that the budgetary constraints caused by the recession have changed the enterprise refresh cycle permanently.

Tecala states, "Prior to the global financial crisis, when a big vendor like Cisco or HP would announce that a device was past end of sale, most clients would enter into a standard operating procedure of, 'Over the next one or two years, let's look at refreshing that technology.' We feel that cycle -- that mindset -- has been irrevocably changed."

Apart from the recession, the report identifies an increase in Software Defined Networking (SDN) as a contributing factor to longer hardware refresh cycles. 

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