Are End-of-Life Network Devices Affecting the Postal Service Network?

The performance of IT network infrastructure and the availability of critical systems are vital in supporting the Postal Service’s core business functions and processes. Infrastructure includes routers, switches, virtual private network (VPN) gateways, firewalls, voice over internet protocol (VoIP) equipment, audio/video conference bridges, and alarm monitoring. These network devices must be monitored, maintained, upgraded, and replaced appropriately to provide a high-level of network performance and to prevent unwanted outages.

EOL is a term used when products reach the end of their life cycle. The EOL process consists of technical and business milestones prior to termination of built-in technical support or of continued enhancements. There are many factors that affect a product life-cycle: market demands, technology innovation, or replacement by functionally-richer options.

While each vendor defines its own milestones during a product’s phase-out process, it is important for organizations to establish replacement plans and support levels needed for the various classes of equipment within the network. Equipment with higher risk levels in more dynamic environments should have a higher priority for replacement. Equipment with lower risk levels can remain on the network and may need additional support agreements until the replacement date.

The OIG would like to hear from you about how the Postal Service is managing end-of-life network devices.

  • Do you know of any instances when an EOL network device such as a router, switch, or wireless access point has disrupted or caused a network outage?
  • Are you aware of any EOL network devices that are affecting the performance of a Postal Service system, application, or operation?
  • Do you know of any innovative replacement plans or support for EOL devices that other organizations have implemented?

CONTINUE READING AT » USPS Office of Inspector General

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