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HP Blasts Cisco at Interop

LAS VEGAS. There is no love lost between Cisco and HP.

During a keynote at the Interop conference in Las Vegas, Dave Donatelli, Executive VP and General Manager, Enterprise Servers, Storage and Networking at HP detailed his company's networking approach as being an alternative to Cisco.

"Competition speeds innovation," Donatelli said. "Legacy networks need transformation."

Donatelli noted that organizations were used to the hour glass icon for loading in the pre-video era, but that's no longer acceptable. He added that virtualization is part of the solution but enterprises are now using a mixed model.

"It's a mixed model where some systems are vitualized and some are not but both need to be managed," Donatelli said. "And of course you need security for it all, and all those areas need to be transformed."

HP's approach is its FlexNetworking architecture which was announced this week at Interop. Donatelli noted that the great advantage that HP has is that it plays in the entire IT market from consumer to enterprise.

Taking direct aim at Cisco, Donatelli pointed to a Gartner study that noted a single supplier for networking was not a good idea. He also pointed to a study from research firm Baird, where 75 percent of respondents said that HP was now part of the networking discussion. Additionally 29 percent said that HP is influencing deal terms and winning over Cisco.

"The biggest question that all customers have is how to prevent lock-in," Donatelli said. "That's the purpose behind FlexNetwork."

Donatelli also detailed how the new HP A10500 is in his view, better than the Cisco Catalyst switches. According to Donatelli, HP delivers 75 percent lower latency and 250 percent higher performance.

On the security front, Donatelli said that the new FlexNetworking security piece, the TippingPoint S6100 IPS offers 100 percent better performance than the Cisco 4270. He added that the TippingPoint IPS also offers 33 percent lower power consumption than Cisco.

From a management platform perspective, Donatelli also blasted Cisco. Part of the FlexNetworking portfolio is the Intelligent Management Center (IMC).

"We can take the 30 separate tools that Cisco has and do it all in one and we do this with IMC," Donatelli said. "We support over 2600 devices including over 1000 just from Cisco."

"Anyway you look at it, the technology and the innovation shows through," Donatelli added.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.