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HP Networking Technology

HP Accuses Cisco of Diverting Data Center Standard 47

alphadogg writes "Networking rivals HP and Cisco have abandoned their common ground in data center switching, with HP accusing Cisco of diverting an IEEE standard and Cisco insisting that customers drove the change. At issue are two as-yet unratified standards in the IEEE for data center switching that were being defined in concert but are now diverging: IEEE 802.1Qbg and 802.1Qbh."
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HP Accuses Cisco of Diverting Data Center Standard

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  • What's the issue? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    According to TFA, Cisco (and others from the IEEE ballot) wished to add SP capabilities, as well as broaden the standard to support multicast at a tagging level. It's not like Cisco are subverting an existing standard or using their market share to lock out existing HP solutions.

    Sure, if this was out there, ratified and Cisco broke it as an embrace, extend, extinguish then I'd see the issue. But it's not, they just wanted to add something for a market HP don't play in (Service Provider) and HP got upset by

    • by afidel ( 530433 )
      Personally I'm all for a more comprehensive standard that is versatile enough to not just meet todays immediate needs but also future needs which seems to be what Cisco is pushing for. If this causes HP some delay in getting a new switch out due to ASIC changes so be it, who want hardware that's obsolete before it even get out of design?
  • . . . is that there are so many of them to choose from. "

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yes, thats why MS forced OOXML as open document standard beside ODF. With two standards people do not know which to use and so stay on old one (MS closed). And, actually, OOXML is't even open.

    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Wednesday February 09, 2011 @08:34AM (#35149046) Journal
      Not to worry. My sources tell me that the IEEE should be coming out with a new standard, needlessly crufty because of the need to be backwards compatible with both of its compatible predecessors, just a year or two after you've made a major investment in hardware that the vendor has no plans to support upgrading. Everything should be fully sorted out after you retire.
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Wednesday February 09, 2011 @09:54AM (#35149616) Journal
    Guys, this is not how to play the standards game. Neither of you are Microsoft. Neither of you are OpenOffice.org. This game is best played between a well funded behemoth with deep pockets against a collection of rag tag individuals. Deep Pockets, Inc will create benami [*] entities that will pretend to be industry groups but will play the role of being shills and pimps for Deep Pockets, Inc.

    The rag tag bunch of individuals on the opposite team are tenuously bonded by their common opposition to Deep Pockets, but will spend as much time fighting their own team as Deep Pockets, Inc. These people are against Deep Pockets, Inc on principle, and because their motivation is their "principle", they would be against anyone who do not share their principles, even if they are in their own team.

    The game play is very interesting to watch and very tragic in outcome. Usually Deep Pockets, Inc will be able to do the equivalent of changing the supply voltage of the household electric connection, and make every electrical appliance in the house to become obsolete, once in two years. The benamis will be paid their 30 shekels, Deep Pockets will report robust growth in their electrical appliance sales, and the rag tag individuals will gripe about it in slashdot. And the game will repeat. So predictable, so enjoyable.

    [*] Glossary:

    Benami, (n) Someone who holds a title to a property for legal purposes while some one else is the real owner. A system created in India during British Raj when the British army officers were not allowed to own property in India. They would nominate a native as the owner on the title papers, but continue to be the de facto owners of the property, sometimes without even the knowledge of the benami. It has now evolved into a huge tax evasion infrastructure for Indian politicians, civil servants, traders and money launderers.

  • Cisco Vs. HP (Score:5, Informative)

    by MoldySpore ( 1280634 ) on Wednesday February 09, 2011 @10:48AM (#35150164)

    Honestly, when push comes to shove, who is going to defer to HP over Cisco when it comes to networking? Despite the obvious trolls and flames against Cisco because they are so big, as a network engineer who deals with many different vendors everyday on a huge enterprise level network, I long for the day of an all Cisco environment. Why? Because Cisco stuff just works. All of our main components are Cisco: Firewalls, Wireless controllers and access points, and high-level layer-3 switches and routers. Before we were mostly Cisco, there were nothing but problems, including compatibility on the hardware and protocol level and just general failures of hardware. Since the move to a mostly Cisco network we have less than 50% of the issues we had before. Perhaps it "just works" only because Cisco uses some proprietary protocols and such, but who cares when it all works so well?

    Our longest running devices on the network (been up for over 800 consecutive days) are Cisco. We have Juniper, Enterasys, HP, 3Com, Linksys Business-class, IBM, and several other vendors equipment on our network in one form or another, and the only one we never have an issue with is Cisco. I don't think this is coincidence.

    So why would anyone go with or defer to HP when it comes to networking? Anyone who has sat in a room with HP delivering a marketing presentation will know they claim "We are better than Cisco because _______" all day long. Problem is, they aren't. And anyone who has configured an HP device from the CLI will tell you that they are so similar to Cisco in terms of the feel it goes well beyond flattery with how much they model after Cisco. Problem is, HP has the same problem that most other networking vendors have: they are still lacking when compared to Cisco. Both in support, quality, and reliability.

    Perhaps someone has had bad experiences with Cisco, and that turned them off to them for life, but most people who work in networking everyday will tell you they'd rather be on a Cisco device than any other.

    • I'm in a small (9 site) business that uses Cisco gear for all the interconnect. Cisco's have some glorious uptime, but little me has found 3 different bugs in IOS simply dealing with the day to day activities of our shop. Access lists that won't apply to a policy (standard ACL only, the extended ACL applied just fine), spurious items in the running config that change throughout the day by themselves, SIP session handling causing the call to be dropped *before it was answered*...

      Yes, Cisco's have great upt

      • I definitely agree with you. Cisco is not "perfect" by any means. Anyone who mass-produces anything will have some issues. And like I said, the compatibility between Cisco and other vendors, when using a proprietary protocols from Cisco especially, can be tedious. But if EVERYTHING was Cisco (including any other devices or companies we interface with) I think there would be almost issues.

        And yes, all things being equal, their TAC is what should make you go Cisco at the end of the day. I call TAC and get a p

        • by skids ( 119237 )

          I don't know what your network is layed out like, but if you don't find bugs regularly in IOS, you probably aren't doing much with the gear.

          Cisco *used* to have stellar documentation, features that just worked, and very, very stable gear. Now they only have the latter. Docs are a mess, as bad as their competitors, feature sets are extremely poorly QA'd and do not work a lot of the time. However, the gear doesn't generally crash if all you use is the very basic features, and damage is compartmentalised wh

        • by Alok ( 37687 )

          the compatibility between Cisco and other vendors, when using a proprietary protocols from Cisco especially, can be tedious.

          So this is similar to the cries about OpenOffice not supporting .doc formats with 100% compatibility, when MSO won't support ODF or others *at all* even though they are better structured & documented?

    • I'll vouch for HP. We deal with a lot of school districts that have been switching from Cisco switched networks to HP and have nothing but good things to say. Uptime has always been comparable, prices were always lower, lifetime warranty is included, and firmware updates do not require a subscription. If you enjoy sinking money into Smartnet and expensive equipment, go ahead.

      • Actually Cisco has come in lower on most bids than HP and many other vendors in my experience. It all depends on the discounts you can get and how badly Cisco wants to get into your environment. If you have a school district with only a few branches and a few hundred people that all run off 1 core and a few closet switches, you won't get as much attention as a larger network. And in most cases, a small network like that most admins will not see a need to have Cisco because their budget is so small. A move T

        • by sjames ( 1099 )

          That depends on expansion plans. Vendors will sometimes drop their pants bidding for an initial installation under the assumption that they can soak you later when you upgrade. It's well and good to get a nice price on the buildout, but you could be setting yourself up for years of cutting corners and doing without.

          The bigger the network, the more sense it makes to just have one or 2 cold spares on the shelf rather than relying on 24 hour replacement.

    • Re:Cisco Vs. HP (Score:5, Informative)

      by gclef ( 96311 ) on Wednesday February 09, 2011 @12:03PM (#35150992)

      I would agree with you for networking, but not firewalling. As someone who's managing > 100 Cisco firewalls, let me assure you that they're not the perfection you make them out to be...there are plenty of weird bugs/problems with the ASAs, just like with any other vendor. If you want to see just how broken they can be, ask for a detailed explanation of just how their active/active firewall solution works. (Hint: map out the packet flow when a packet arrives at the second context for a flow that started on the first context..and then be horrified at how they route packets internally.)

      • by TheLink ( 130905 )
        I personally think that most "active-active" firewall scenarios cause more problems than they solve ;).

        Whether it's Cisco, Juniper or Checkpoint, it's usually less reliable.

        With a hot standby you just have to cut-over _once_ when stuff fails. With active-active, your cut-overs in effect happen regularly. And for most implementations, if you understand the details you'd know it's not such a great thing. Speaking of details go look up how Juniper does active-active - for "real" active-active you need the cli
        • by jon3k ( 691256 )
          Agree 100%. We went through the same thing with active-active vs active-passive, you gain nothing from active-active other than complexity, at least for every scenario we came up with. And yes, ASAs are very quirky firewalls, no question about it. The 8.3 NAT change was especially annoying. Would also like to be able to use some virtual contexts in transparent and some in non-transparent (to terminate ipsec tunnels). I'm definitely not in love with them, but they're not awful.
      • by lanner ( 107308 )

        Cisco ASAs suck. We have a couple of 5580 series with 10G ports and lots of VLANs. They fail over often, configuration is a nightmare if you need to move a VLAN interface from one physical port to another, etc etc. Buggy as hell. I make the purchasing decisions around here and we are NOT going with Cisco come a year or two from now when we replace them. I'd rather just use iptables than Cisco ACLs.

        Cisco wireless sucks too, along with ACS, their radius/tacacs+ server (which only runs on Windows). Go Ar

        • See I have not had this experience at all. We manage many ASA's as well, 5505's, 5520's, etc. Most are in failover setups with one active, and the other in standby. NEVER have issues. They never fall over for no reason. If you have an ASA that falls over for no reason, it is most likely a bug. The one time we had one fail for no reason it just required a quick IOS upgrade. That was 2 years ago. Haven't had an issue with that since. But I definitely know Cisco isn't perfect. There is no such thing as "perfec
    • by russg ( 64596 )

      If you have a Cisco device that has been up for 800 days it is only because you have ignored security issues and not patched. Cisco is just doing what Cisco does to keep other vendors locked out. You say that Cisco "just works"? Well that's because you ignorantly drink from the cup that is Cisco and likely only use their proprietary protocols.

      In any case, you are far better served by having diverse infrastructure components running open protocols than by using one manufacturer. I have insight into some

      • if "diverse" means more than 2 vendors, then I fear for anyone that has to work on that network. Ease of troubleshooting and interoperability means using 1 or 2 vendors if possible. There is no way I want to deal with the CLI of half a dozen different vendors, have that many more companies to deal with for RMA or tech support, and have that many different proprietary protocols/things going on, because each vendor has something that is unique to them alone.

        Also, a device that has been up for 800 days does no

        • by russg ( 64596 )

          Obviously you don't manage or work on a larger network if you are logging into a CLI to do your job. You should have been replaced a long time ago for not automating the work. You first complain that HP modeled after Cisco now you complain that multiple vendor CLIs would be a pain? Make up your mind which side you are selling. I work on the largest networks in the world and, really, they are easy to manage with the appropriate software and automation even with diversity in vendors. Cisco has decent

    • Cisco's not bad - their main strength is the breadth of their product line. I can't say it always works as I've been bitten by many a cisco bug. I do appreciate that they break ground on tons of features that eventually become standards in their own right, but as a front runner they often step in it too. Juniper's CLI and scripting tools make Cisco's IOS/NOS look like amateur hour. The completely hardware based solutions provide some remarkable throughput but you pay for it. HP has been cranking out st
    • by sjames ( 1099 )

      For routing, sure Cisco beats HP. However, these are layer 2 standards. I have never had a network problem where the resolution was reset the HP switch. I have never had a need to reset or power cycle an HP switch. I have never had one fail. Why wouldn't I be interested in what HP has to say about switching?

      As for the CLI, they pretty much had to make the syntax as Cisco like as they could, that's what everyone already knew. I appreciate not having to learn a whole new language to configure switches. Note t

    • I long for the day of an all Cisco environment. Why? Because Cisco stuff just works.

      Exactly the same mentality that allowed MS-Win and MS-Office to achieve

      • vendor lock,
      • the ability to charge a tiny shade less than the switching cost to the alternative,
      • keep raising the switching costs to increase their revenue
      • force their customers to run on the upgrade-treadmill at ever increasing speeds

      When you come back whining in five or ten years about the excessive license fees, expensive hardware, and your own inability to switch to a lower cost alternative, don't expect any sympathy from anyone

    • I did.

      I've got 4 branches, my branches and core are all 7206's with NPE300's and 2x 100meg line cards. Nothing AMAZING or huge, I know, but it quite easily handles my requirements and parts are plentiful (BOUGHT THEM REFURBE'D too!), but all of my switching is procurve. Lifetime warranty/updates/support, identical cli syntax, great price. Damn right i'm using as much procurve as I can! Here's to some solid competition between hp and cisco, both are good products, but i find it hard to argue against a lif

    • by jon3k ( 691256 )
      Unfortunately you pay through the nose for Cisco gear. We run a 100% Cisco shop (routers, switches, firewalls, CUCM/Unity, many hundreds of Cisco IP phones, ACS, etc etc etc ad naseum) and it's really nice and we have no compatibility problems, but man do we pay through the nose. Even with 40%+ discounts off Cisco's hilarious "list prices" it's still unbelievably expensive. We're seriously considering looking into Juniper for our next router replacement (we just rolled out 2921s to ~50 sites, so it'll be
    • Maybe if you'd ever tried an all-HP environment, you'd actually be in a position to comment. But as it is, you're comparing a vendor lockin Cisco environment with a rag-tag environment, and not with an all-HP environment. So aren't you being a bit silly?

      • Perhaps, but if i had to choose between an all HP or an all Cisco network I'd go Cisco everytime. And yes, I support all HP networks as well as my main Cisco one. And the Cisco network used to be a "rag-tag" of multiple vendors, including HP. The only vendor that gave me more trouble than HP on that network in terms of failures on the hardware side was Enterasys.

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun