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2/24/2010
03:38 PM
Alexander Wolfe
Alexander Wolfe
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Force10 Fixin' To Switch HP, Cisco Customers

Force10 Networks is making hay of the impending termination by Cisco of its partnership with HP. The scrappy Ethernet vendor launched a promotion on Wednesday intended to get HP resellers to push Force10 switches instead of competing Cisco and HP ProCurve gear.

Force10 Networks is making hay of the impending termination by Cisco of its partnership with HP. The scrappy Ethernet vendor launched a promotion on Wednesday intended to get HP resellers to push Force10 switches instead of competing Cisco and HP ProCurve gear.Quite frankly, this is a channel announcement-- the press release talks about the additional 10% rebate resellers can earn if they sell $1 million of Force10 C-Series C300 switch gear. Still, I think it's significant for the InformationWeek audience, because it speaks to the disruptive effect the Cisco-HP breakup is having on the Ethernet switch market in particular, and, by extension, the broader server and data center landscapes.

No one is quite sure how, or how quickly, things will settle after April 30, which is the date upon which Cisco is terminating its system integrator contract with HP. After that, Hewlett-Packard will no longer be a Cisco Certified Channel or Global Service Alliance partner.

There's also been reporting, in sister publication Network Computing that Cisco's relationship with Dell has soured, as regards a planned blade switch Cisco decided not to make available for a Dell chassis.

In an environment like this, who can blame Force10 for diving in? Here's how Andrew Stewart, Force10's channel vice president, put it in the press release the company put out today:

"We've seen ongoing channel disruption since Cisco introduced its Unified Computing System / blade server technology in 2009. It intensified this week with the announcement that Cisco will terminate its channel alliance with HP. We see a fast-emerging opportunity to build relationships with partners that now need an alternative to HP and Cisco."

You can check out more about Force10 Networks here.

In conclusion, let me point to Joe Kovar's very intelligent ChannelWeb piece, which basically advises not to get too bent out of shape about what's happening, because we've seen this type of thing before. His story is called HP-Cisco Divorce Recalls HP-EMC Breakup.

Here's my archive of recent posts on the HP-Cisco split:

HP Not Rolling Over On Cisco's Severed Ties;

HP Responds To Cisco Cutoff; and

Cisco Smacks Down HP Partnership.

Follow me on Twitter: (@awolfe58)

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Alex Wolfe is editor-in-chief of InformationWeek.com.



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