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HP takes swipes at Cisco on Interop stage

Jim Duffy, Network World | May 10, 2011
LAS VEGAS -- It's not often that Hewlett-Packard and Cisco share the same stage during a keynote address. But Tuesday at Interop that's what they did -- and HP didn't share the stage nicely.

LAS VEGAS -- It's not often that Hewlett-Packard and Cisco share the same stage during a keynote address. But Tuesday at Interop that's what they did -- and HP didn't share the stage nicely.

Dave Donatelli, executive vice president and general manager of HP's enterprise servers, storage and networking division used the keynote as an opportunity to lambast Cisco's incumbency in switching and routing as an impediment to innovation and an opportunity for Cisco to introduce complexity and high cost.

"Network has had the least amount of innovation over the past decade" of computing, Donatelli charged during his address. "HP wants to transform networking."

With that, Donatelli cited a study that found that 75% of 90 Cisco resellers, accounting for $5 billion in revenue, now consider HP a "part of the discussion" in sales opportunities. The study also found that 29% of those resellers say HP is influencing deal terms.

Donatelli then took the audience for a spin through HP's FlexNetwork architecture and product line, which the company introduced yesterday, pinpointing areas where HP claimed superior value over Cisco: an intrusion prevention system that found 309 vulnerabilities vs. one for a Cisco 4270 appliance in independent testing; 30 Cisco management tools that can be replaced by one HP system; and 1,000 Cisco devices that can be managed by that HP system.

"We managed Cisco better than Cisco," Donatelli said.

Cisco's appearance was much more benign. CIO Rebecca Jacoby gave an overview of the value that IT is expected to provide to business in the era of cloud computing and collaboration.

She described Cisco's own private cloud environment -- Cisco IT Elastic Infrastructure Services (CITEIS) -- and the benefits the company is realizing through its virtualization capabilities: the migration of 57% of Cisco's 1,300 business applications into CITEIS; a 37% improvement in total cost of ownership; an additional 27% improvement when Cisco's Unified Computing System was deployed; an 80% reduction in rack space and a 67% reduction in power consumption for certain applications.

Cisco wasn't even using virtualization when Jacoby became CIO four years ago, she says.

In collaboration, where Cisco's TelePresence videoconferencing technology is a key piece, Jacoby claims a banking customer with 250 branches enabled by Cisco's Medianet video architecture saw a 70% return rate for customers vs. 30% when immediate "face time" was available through video.

 

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