HP extends Cisco switch trade-in program

HP this week said it has expanded a trade-in program for customers looking to swap out Cisco switches for HP gear.

HP broadened its "A Catalyst for Change Trade-in Promotion" for qualifying customers in Asia Pacific. HP estimates that, globally, nearly $9 billion in Cisco networking equipment is approaching end of life or service in 2011.

The "A Catalyst for Change" program is designed to enable customers to migrate from older Cisco Catalyst switches to HP equipment with an upfront 20% discount off the list price of its switches. In Asia Pacific, the "A Catalyst for Change" trade-in is the first HP Networking program to deliver cash rebates upon purchase of HP's A-Series, E-Series and V-series switches, the company says.

RIVALRIES: Cisco defending base against HP, Juniper

Orders can be accompanied with a trade-in of eligible networking equipment of any brand, though, not just Cisco equipment. The program will run until October in Australia, India, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and Thailand.

HP is also offering network planning and migration services to try to smooth the transition from other vendors' switches. Plus, the company provides "fast-track" certification training on the HP gear.

HP commenced the "Catalyst for Change" trade-in program late last year. The company did not respond to an inquiry for a comprehensive update on the progress of the program by press time.

HP and Cisco are engaged in a bitter battle for customers and market share in switching and data center IT. Cisco went on the offensive recently, claiming its new Catalyst 6500 Supervisor 2T offers three times the performance of HP's A9850 switch at 1.3 times the price.

HP countered by saying Cisco is comparing apples to oranges. The real comparison, according to HP, should be with the HP A10500 switch, which is shipping in China and will be available globally in the fall.

The A10500 offers 128 wire-speed 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports and 3 microsecond latency. For large campuses, four A10500 switches can be grouped together as a single virtual switch with 320 wire-speed 10G Ethernet ports.

The switch features up to 11Tbps of capacity and 1.9 billion packets per second of performance. Pricing for the A10500 starts at $38,000.

The Supervisor 2T provides 2Tbps of system performance for 80Gbps switching capacity per slot on the Catalyst 6500 E-Series chassis. It cans scale to 4Tbps through a Virtual Switching System (VSS) configuration, and performance is between 390Mpps and 720Mpps for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, and Layer 2 bridging.

Sup 2T supports up to 1,056 Gigabit Ethernet ports and 352 ports of 10G Ethernet when deployed with VSS, Cisco says. The supervisor engine also supports 200-plus services, such as native VPLS, flexible NetFlow, egress NetFlow, Cisco TrustSec, distributed policers, control plane policing and IPv6 features.

Sup 2T costs $38,000 and is shipping now.

In the first quarter of 2011, Cisco's share of the $4.74 billion Ethernet switch market slipped to 65% from 71.5% in Q1 of 2010, according to Dell'Oro Group. HP's share rose to 11.2% from 5.6% in Q1, 2010, prior to the acquisition of 3Com.

3Com added close to 3.5 percentage points to HP's Ethernet switch share after the deal closed in the second quarter of 2010.

Read more about lan and wan in Network World's LAN & WAN section.

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