Cisco doesn’t usually weigh in on rumor, speculation, or just plain nonsense, but we simply had to address some blatantly misleading information that HP has been sharing with customers and reporters in the wake of Cisco’s industry-changing Catalyst 6500 announcement of earlier this week. I’m a big fan of Dragnet, so in the style of Detective Sergeant Joe Friday, let’s talk about “Just the facts”:
First, Cisco emphatically stands behind the claim of 3x the performance at 1/3 the price when you compare a simple upgrade of Catalyst 6500 versus HP’s A9500. HP is suggesting we should instead be comparing the Catalyst 6500 against their replacement platform, the A10500. We’re perfectly happy to do this but we found it’s really hard to do a comparison with a product that doesn’t yet exist. Don’t believe us? Go look at the HP web site. You won’t find any details to support HP’s claims. Yes, HP did ‘launch’ the A10500 in May, but it still hasn’t been posted to their configuration tool, nor does it appear anywhere on their networking product pages. So is the A10500 real, or is it just marketing until it gets off the factory floor?
Second, HP’s claim that the E-Series has only been around for months is incorrect. The Catalyst 6500 E-Series has been in the market for seven years and is in 80 percent of our installed base customer networks. 80 percent! So, for 80 percent of our customers, migrating to the Sup2T really is as simple as a $38,000 list price upgrade. That’s all it takes to get that 3x performance increase, 4x scalability boost, and access to over 200 new software features. Investment protection has always been a key criterion for Cisco and its customers.