Ethernet equipment

HP Picks a Fight With Cisco

2:45 PM -- LAS VEGAS -- Cisco Live 2011 -- The PR battle between Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) is raging.

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

Co 12/5/2012 | 4:59:25 PM
re: HP Picks a Fight With Cisco

it should be Unified Computing System. Universal sounds good too, especially since Cisco is kicking HP's butt

opticalwatcher 12/5/2012 | 4:59:23 PM
re: HP Picks a Fight With Cisco

Wow, didn't HP start as a server company and Cisco a router company? And they worked together, building router connected servers. Then HP started encroaching on Cisco's business, and Cisco responded by building router/server boxes. And now (at least according to this article), they've sort of switched places.

(I realize this is an oversimplification).

^Eagle^ 12/5/2012 | 4:59:19 PM
re: HP Picks a Fight With Cisco

It would be interesting to see real numbers.

While Cisco claims that "70% of their UCS" customers were HP customers, this does not give us any real information nor numbers to back it up.

Further, this gives us no view into the relative market split in servers between Cisco and HP.

Even if true that Cisco's UCS customers were 70% HP clients, that does NOT mean that Cisco has 70% market share.  It only means that of what ever % of the server market Cisco has, 70% of that fraction of the market were previously using HP servers.  So that 70% is 70% of some other other percentage of the overall server market.

Lets have some journalism here that actually does some research and digs into the claims and give us some real numbers instead of merely reporting the gossip from the conference.

Note: I generally like Craig's reporting and take on things.  But this story gives us very little real information to judge the merits of the opposing claims regards market share.


Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 4:59:08 PM
re: HP Picks a Fight With Cisco

Co - thanks; we'll get that corrected.

TXShelly 12/5/2012 | 4:59:07 PM
re: HP Picks a Fight With Cisco According to IDC, the widely recognized measuring stick for server industry market share, Cisco shipped only 1.1% of global x86 server units vs. the 36.1% shipped by HP. Get the facts here: http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?.... Data in this article is revenue share, so it's slightly different, not because Cisco shipped more units, but because their average price for each is high. Regardless, you'll quickly see that Cisco barely gets mentioned in the server share numbers.
Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 4:59:07 PM
re: HP Picks a Fight With Cisco

Well, glad you have some faith in me, sailboat.  :)  I'm not claiming to have fully analyzed the market specifics here, it's a blog about how hot-blooded the rift between Cisco and HP has become. 

I didn't say Cisco had 70% market share, and I think it's pretty obvious that they're nowhere close to that.  Cisco's still in the single digits in overal market share IIRC.

My point was closer to what Tera is saying.  There's suddenly a lot of overlap between these two.

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 4:58:46 PM
re: HP Picks a Fight With Cisco

Cisco posted a response to HP's statement.

So, here's the full HP statement, from Michael Nielsen:


And here's the Cisco response, from Scott Gainey:


TXShelly 12/5/2012 | 4:57:57 PM
re: HP Picks a Fight With Cisco Cisco's fighting really hard to make 1% market share look like datacenter sea change: http://www.informationweek.com...
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