Feeds

HP purges Cisco gear from data centers

The edge goes next

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Hewlett-Packard announced this morning - and will no doubt be bragging tomorrow to Wall Street - that it no longer has Cisco Systems' core switches and routers in its own data centers and is now using its own 3Com and ProCurve products.

The latest shots in the ongoing server-networking war between HP and Cisco came ahead of HP's financial analyst meeting tomorrow and likely ahead of the appointment of a new president, CEO, and chairman for the IT giant.

HP has been in the switching business since founding its networking division in 1979 within its Data Systems Division in 1979, so in a sense, Cisco started it by founding itself in 1984. But Cisco stuck to the Internet router space and HP was doing networking primarily between systems and printers, so the two did not meet head-on in the market until they both wanted to sell switches in data centers in the 1990s.

The détente between HP and Cisco started breaking down mightily when the latter smashed its way into the server business in March 2009 with the launch of the "California" Unified Computing System blade servers and their integrated and converged 10 Gigabit Ethernet networking for servers and storage. It continued to expand last year with rack-based servers that are the bread and butter of HP. In November 2009, HP acquired Ethernet commercializer 3Com for $2.7bn, bolstering its ProCurve product line and declaring war right back to Cisco. By February of this year, the gloves had come off and Cisco dropped HP from its certified partner program, cutting the server maker out of Cisco's switch product roadmaps and pricing incentives.

Back in April, HP was promising to gut its "six-pack" of data centers of all Cisco gear and replace it with its own ProCurve and 3Com products. HP has been transforming its own IT operations for several years, and in December 2008 had put some 85 global data centers through the cider press, compressing them down to a six pack of data centers running in Houston and Austin, Texas, and Atlanta, Georgia. (Each site has two data centers, which are mirrored across the three different geographies for high availability and resilience.)

"This past April we said we’d be Cisco-free for core WAN routing and switching in our data centers, and we are. We did it ahead of schedule and are seeing performance even better than we expected," explained Ken Gray, vice president of infrastructure in the global information technology department at HP, who added that the Cisco switches were all replaced without taking the data center offline.

The "upgrade" of switching and routing involved replacing 30 circuits between the six data centers, installing twenty A8812 routers, six A6616 routers, eighteen A6604 routers, sixteen A12508 switches, and a dozen A9505 modular switches. The gear sports 260 Gb/sec of wide area network capacity between the data centers and supports 120 Gb/sec of aggregate Internet capacity for employees and for processing transactions from the HP online store.

HP still has to purge the non-HP edge switches from its data centers and myriad offices. No word on when that might be done.

All of HP's switches and routers are now sold under the HP Networking brand, which was introduced in April. The A Series switches and routers are data center-class products that come from 3Com, while the E Series switches come from the HP ProCurve line and are aimed at midrange shops. The S Series security appliances coming from 3Com subsidiary Tipping Point, and the V Series products also come from 3Com and are aimed at SMBs. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
The DRUGSTORES DON'T WORK, CVS makes IT WORSE ... for Apple Pay
Goog Wallet apparently also spurned in NFC lockdown
IBM, backing away from hardware? NEVER!
Don't be so sure, so-surers
Hey - who wants 4.8 TERABYTES almost AS FAST AS MEMORY?
China's Memblaze says they've got it in PCIe. Yow
Microsoft brings the CLOUD that GOES ON FOREVER
Sky's the limit with unrestricted space in the cloud
This time it's SO REAL: Overcoming the open-source orgasm myth with TODO
If the web giants need it to work, hey, maybe it'll work
'ANYTHING BUT STABLE' Netflix suffers BIG Europe-wide outage
Friday night LIVE? Nope. The only thing streaming are tears down my face
Google roolz! Nest buys Revolv, KILLS new sales of home hub
Take my temperature, I'm feeling a little bit dizzy
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.