"Within three weeks, the deal was done," Haas said. "And it's very, very large. They tested the technology and then said '(Cisco's) quoting a lead time out to September, and we're not going to do that.'"Haas said this deal is one of many HP is landing due to Cisco's product lead-time issues. Analysts, however, say the situation is not affecting Cisco financially and may soon be getting better. HP is also benefiting from the age of some of Cisco's switches as well, Haas said. Cisco's Catalyst 6500 is at least 10 years old but a cash cow for the company with a multi-billion-dollar installed base. Yet some data center accounts are balking at migrating to the new Nexus platform and are reluctant to adopt Cisco's Unified Computing System (UCS) server/networking/storage access platform, which they view as a potential lock-in, Haas said. "They've got a $9 billion installed base that they're forcing an end-of-life upgrade on," Haas said. "The upgrade is not as easy as they would like to communicate to the customer. Users are coming to us and saying 'Cisco's forcing us to make an upgrade to a Nexus or a UCS-based architecture model, I don't want to get locked into this new architecture that will force me again to change -- can you come in and provide an alternative solution?' It's creating a huge opportunity for us because Cisco's forcing this migration to take place." Cisco says it is not retiring the Catalyst 6500. "That's not true at all," a company spokesperson said. "We are not end–of-lifing the Catalyst line; we have 35,000 customers. We continue to innovate and sell it, and lots of customers have both the Catalyst 6500 and Nexus switches in their data centers." Cisco says it has at least 400 customers for UCS since its launch a year ago, and that second quarter orders doubled those in the first quarter. Analysts say channel partners note accelerating momentum for the platform -- investment firm UBS states in a bulletin this week that UCS has 300 deployments and another 300 trials, but less than $100 million in revenue.
Cisco expects the Nexus 7000 to be a billion-dollar business this year -- two years after its introduction. Revenue for the switch grew 140% year-over-year in Q2.HP will hit back later this year with extensions to its Flex Fabric and Virtual Connect data center strategies and technologies. Some will include FibreChannel-over-Ethernet switches HP currently has in its development labs, Haas said. Flex Fabric is designed to provide a flat, low-latency/high-bandwidth Layer 2 cloud architecture that can converge and provision server, storage and networking services and resources on the fly. From a management perspective, users will have a holisitic view into the converged architecture, Haas said. Read more about lans and wans in Network World's LANs & WANs section. Original story - http://www.networkworld.com/nwlookup.jsp?rid=207855