Genuine manufacturers' memory products. Wonderful, no doubt, but, let's be honest, they do tend to be a bit pricey.
You wouldn't buy a new TV from the high street if you could buy the same model for less than half the price from a reputable online store, would you? So why pay over the odds on your network switches and routers by using genuine manufacturers' memory products? After all, there are plenty of third party memory modules on sale for routers and switches.
The obvious answer, of course, is that using third party memory would invalidate your warranty, wouldn't it? Or even not work at all. Well, no, in fact. It's something of a trade secret, but most manufacturers publish lists of approved third party memory products. And in the current economic climate, it's good commercial sense to find out where you could be making savings.
Those savings are far from insignificant, too. Approved third party memory product prices are on average some 80% lower than original manufacturers'.
The 'good old days'
Saving money on memory is nothing new of course. A few years back it was common for savvy network engineers to populate their live routers with third party memory, but keep one set on the shelf with original memory installed. That way they could have the benefit of the savings but avoid being caught out with a failed router populated with non-approved memory.
Times have changed, though. If, five or ten years ago, a router went down one evening, the engineer would typically not need to set about sorting it out it the next morning. Today, he's going to get a call-out when the router fails, and he's going to have to drop everything to see to it right away. His curry evening goes out of the window, his korma congeals and it's not going to help his heartburn. Really, it's not worth it.
No more heartburn
So here's what to do. Research your router and switch manufacturers' memory path upgrade programmes for each and every product you use. Find out who those manufacturers use as approved memory manufacturers. Most manufacturers publish the names, but they don't advertise them on their home pages: usually they are buried deep within their technical pages. If you cant find the information you're looking for, it's worth asking for it. You're quite within your rights to do so.
However you get to the information, once you have it, you've found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow: safe memory upgrades for your sensitive network devices, no warranties invalidated, very significant savings. And no heartburn.