Cisco upgraded the Catalyst 6500 on Tuesday, and HP is now gleefully poking holes in the story. Wednesday morning, the press was sent a long statement from Mike Nielsen, an HP director of marketing. It starts like this:
HP views Cisco's announcement today as too little too late on the heels of HP's FlexNetwork architecture and the A10500 series announcements back in May. The Catalyst 6500 is more than a decade old Cisco platform and workhorse of their product line, but it has seen nothing more than incremental updates -- many of which still require a full system replacement -- instead of driving real innovation with a fully refreshed architecture. Contrary to Cisco's claims, the performance of HP's comparable products is twice as high, if measured correctly. The price comparisons are also meaningless -- Cisco's math is based on an upgrade of a product with a very limited install base versus a completely new installation. See details below.
... followed by details. So many details.
Meanwhile, Cisco's Wednesday press conference twisted the knife somewhere else -- in servers for Cisco's Unified Computing System. Sixty to 70 percent of Cisco's 5,400 UCS customers were HP customers, said Soni Jiandani, vice president of Cisco's server access virtualization business unit.
I think Cisco released that stat before, but still -- it was amusing to hear that minutes after seeing the HP email. "All your servers are belong to us!"
So, what's the score? HP has the last word in routers so far, with some interesting counters to Cisco's claims. Cisco has a stinging stat to take the upper hand in servers, at least until HP sends another statement. Call it a standoff.
So often, companies in competition with each other claim there's no rivalry. They tell us (correctly, I'll admit) that all big companies overlap in some spots and buy products from each other elsewhere. It's fun to see the more direct approach.
— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading