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HP, Cisco Dispute Meaning Of Latest Networking Market Share Numbers

HP is touting a new set of market share numbers as evidence that it is drinking Cisco Systems' milkshake by winning network routing and switching sales away from its more established rival. But a Cisco spokesman responds that with the proper perspective, HP's boast amounts to less than meets the eye.

HP in May introduced a new network infrastructure approach it calls FlexNetwork with switches and wireless access points that the company says offer significant improvements in capacity, performance, energy efficiency and latency over comparable Cisco products. Banic says the FlexNetwork approach can eliminate unnecessary layers of devices in data center and campus networks, thus freeing up money in IT budgets to spend on other projects.

HP also highlighted other areas in the Dell’Oro research that show it is gaining on Cisco. It touted its No. 1 position in the smart managed switch category with a 34% market share. HP also said it gained revenue market share in the switching market in all geographic regions, including a 1% gain in North America, 2 points in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), 6 points in the Asia-Pacific region and 4 points in Latin America.

While Cisco holds a substantial revenue market share lead in L2/L3 switches (68.5%) and routers (54.2%) in the first quarter, both are down from the first quarter of 2010, when they were 74.3% and 60.6%, respectively.

HP’s Banic attributes that to the success of HP’s campaign against Cisco’s single-vendor approach to the market: "The data really supports that HP’s approach to networking is really resonating with customers."

Cisco’s McCulloch attributes the decline to the fact that Cisco is selling switches with a better price/performance ratio, meaning similar performance to previous switches but with a lower average selling price.

See more on this topic by subscribing to Network Computing Pro Reports On the Road to High Availability (subscription required).

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