HP: Cisco? We don't need no stinkin' Cisco

HP bets on the openness of its hodgepodge network line in calling out the reigning networking king

HP took at shot at Cisco today, announcing that its six newly consolidated data centers are devoid of any hardware bearing the Cisco label. Rather, HP has stitched together what it's framing as a more open network architecture, comprising its own brands of 3Com, ProCurve, and TippingPoint gear.

The fact that HP chose to hone in on the fact that it's now "Cisco free" is rather striking, considering the scale of the overall consolidation project: The company went from went from 85 worldwide data centers to six spread out among three cities. Clearly, HP has a great deal of faith in its networking line's ability to go head to head against the reigning networking champion Cisco.

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In its announcement, HP makes abundantly clear one which selling point it will use in hawking its networking wares against Cisco: openness. "When we talk to customers around the world, they're looking for a full networking portfolio provider with open architecture enabling an alternative to the proprietary protocols they've been locked into for decades," said Randy Mott, HP's executive vice president and CIO, in a blatant jab at Cisco.

Missing from HP's announcement, however, is any mention of how easy it is to manage a Franken-network that's stitched together with technologies created by three separate companies. Cisco will almost certainly jump on that potential weakness as it counters HP's bid for network power.

HP's network transformation is not yet complete: The company says the next step is to install its gear on the fringes of the network connecting company facilities worldwide.

Cisco and other HP rivals will no doubt keep a watchful eye out for any signs of network outages at HP in coming weeks and month. If those are to occur, though, network admins at HP can at least take heart in the fact that they won't get fired for not choosing Cisco.

This article, "HP: Cisco? We don't need no stinkin' Cisco," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog.

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