Cisco SMARTnet Hardware and Software Maintenance

Cisco SMARTnet Introduction

Cisco SMARTnet is a maintenance contract to cover Cisco hardware and software. It is provided by Cisco, but usually sold by an authorised Cisco Reseller. Normally the contract period lasts for one year but Cisco will give discounts for longer contracts.

Do you need it?

Most Cisco devices run the Cisco IOS operating system, which is constantly being updated and upgraded, there are only two (legal) ways of obtaining the updates to the IOS software, one is to purchase it every time it changes, the second is to take out a SMARTnet contract for your product and download all of the updates for it as they are released.

Cover Details for Cisco Hardware


Currently each item of Cisco hardware is assigned a category number from 1 through to 18, the higher the category the higher the cost of the cover. So an 800 series router would be category 1, and a 3620 would be category 7. Unfortunately this pricing structure was invented before the arrival of Cisco ‘phones and although these should be category 0.2 there is no such category so they fall in to category 1 router price range.

Software Only or Hardware and Software Support

SMARTnet is sold in two forms, “software only” and “hardware and software”, both provide software cover; ie both entitle you to download software updates from Cisco, additionally the “hardware and software” version provides hardware replacement should Cisco agree that your hardware is broken.

SMARTnet Base and SMARTnet Onsite

Hardware and Software SMARTnet is also sold in two forms, SMARTnet Base and SMARTnet Onsite – both include Advance Replacement of failed hardware, but with SMARTnet Base the replacement hardware is shipped via normal couriers and you must install it yourself, with SMARTnet Onsite, an Engineer will be dispatched to install the hardware. The Engineer may bring the hardware or it may arrive with a courier.

Advance Replacement

Advance Replacement is the Cisco term for replacement of failed hardware, it’s called advance replacement because the new hardware is shipped before the failed hardware is returned.

Daily Cover

SMARTnet hardware support is sold for two daily cover periods, this is the permitted time that you are entitled to report faults to Cisco, for the lowest level of cover this is defined as 8 hours a day, and 5 days a week, or 8×5. If this is insufficient for your needs, the next available cover period is 24 hours a day, and 7 days a week.

Response Time

The Cisco SMARTnet Hardware contract defines the period of time by which Cisco will have shipped replacement hardware. Once the requirement for a replacement has been agreed Cisco will ship new hardware, of the exact or better configuration that you have covered, within an agreed time frame. The SMARTnet contract offers three levels of hardware response times; NBD or Next Business Day, which can sometimes be referred to as SDS or Same Day Ship, means that you can expect your replacement hardware to arrive by the next working day. Should that be too long, two more options are available, 4 or 2 hours. Cisco will endeavour to provide the replacement hardware within 2 or 4 hours depending on your contract. Obviously, there are certain requirements that need to be met before Cisco will offer these levels of support, as not all geographic locations are eligible. This is simply down to the logistics of having an identical configuration of your hardware ready to go at a local shipping point.

Access to TAC

The Cisco TAC (Technical Assistance Centre) is the award winning technical support solution provided by Cisco. TAC centres are strategically located around the globe so as to provide a “follow the sun” support solution. This means that whatever time of day or night it is, you will be able to talk to a knowledgeable engineer at the Cisco TAC. Also, as this makes Cisco Support a 24 hour operation, Cisco will provide constant assistance to resolve your critical networking problems.

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Toilet Stall Hardware Options

Purchasing your toilet partitions, is a task that most people could care less about. They are the smallest part of your project so you don’t want to put a lot of effort into them. However, you do need to make a few choices to ensure the partitions are going to suit your needs.

First decision is material (refer to my other articles for information), Second decision is the style (again refer to other articles for these details) third decision is the hardware. Hardware you ask? Yes, well there are different types of hardware for different types of applications.

Standard hardware: This hardware consists of stirrup brackets, wrap around hinges, surface mount latch, emergency access. With this hardware you will have ½” gaps around the doors, and at the wall connections. This is standard because this is the default the toilet partitions comes with, and it is the most common hardware. The material of the hardware depends on the material of your toilet partition (metal, stainless steel is chrome, plastic laminate, phenolic, polymer is stainless steel)

Continuous hardware: This hardware consists of full height channels at all connects eliminating gaps, and a full height hinge minimizing the gaps at the doors. This is an upgraded hardware and needs to be asked for. It is meant for applications where you do not want any gaps at connections. Generally, higher traffic washrooms, or washrooms where the gaps would be at a sightline – meaning someone washing their hands would be directly in line with the person using the toilet.

No Sightline Hardware/Gapless hardware: This is the top of the line hardware. It goes along with the full height hardware, except it includes a gapless strip at the door, therefore there are 0 gaps on the doors. In my opinion, these belong on change cubicles, shower stalls, or high traffic public change rooms or washrooms. A standard restaurant or night club wouldn’t need this upgraded hardware, in my professional opinion.

Extra height doors/panels: A standard door and panel are 58″, as an upgrade they also come in increased sizes – which ever size you would like to a maximum of 72″. These would be a great upgrade again if you are in a change room, nobody can look over a cubicle that is 6″ (well, most people) or in any environment where privacy needs to be increased for customer comfort ability. Keep in mind, when increasing to the extra height doors/panels you have to increase to the continuous hardware, standard hardware would not be strong enough to hold the extra weight. You want a safe application, not one where there could be issues.

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