difference between cisco and hp solution

Posted on 2007-10-12
Last Modified: 2010-04-02
i would like to know what is the technical diffarance between cisco switch and HP switch. i was asked by my management to give this answer. please define me
Question by:gobinatty
    LVL 50

    Expert Comment

    by:Don Johnston
    The label on the front and the color of the box. :-)

    That's like asking what's the difference between Dell and HP for computers.

     It's just two different manufacturer's of network equipment.
    LVL 4

    Accepted Solution

    A Cisco switch will use it's own IOS (internetwork operating system) and is generally standard to Cisco devices. Cisco switches have a number of very nice features - VLANS (the ability to divide the switch into separate broadcast domains), STP (spanning tree protocol, which prevents switching loops) MAC address security (preventing someone from accessing a network from a rogue computer) and the ability to configure each port separately if desired.

    The HP switches are OK. They can be managed and you can stack them (daisy chain multiple switches together to make one big switch on the network).

    Both of these are going to be managed switches, but here is the big determiner in my own mind: if we are talking about the backbone of a big network, or an instance in which the network really, really needs to be up all the time, I would use a Cisco switch. Otherwise, you could probably live with the procurve switches that HP puts out.

    Bear in mind that it will be very useful to know something about Cisco's IOS if you go the Cisco way. Personally, if I had the budget and I could justify it, I would use Cisco switches all day long.
    LVL 9

    Expert Comment


    You have VLANs and STP on HP switches as well. All depends of your needs. So if you could specify what you want and what you need ?

    Author Comment


    we are planning for a entraprise network.  we have already HP switches in our network. but my new IT team wants cisco solution. but my management wants cheaper solution. thats why all i raised this question. As Mr. guru said Dell and HP i too know the differance but all i want a more advance differance. apart from VLAN / STP /Qos all are default for IEEE standard switches. It would be a great help if icould get a positive reply.
    LVL 9

    Assisted Solution


    Well there are other vendors as well. I would try with Nortel since they have better switches than Cisco (in my opinion). I have been working on nortels for the last year and I have seen much better performance and stability than Cisco.

    Are you planning to implement Layer2, Layer3, Layer4/7 switches ? Do you need routing between subnets to be done on the switches or you have external router to route between them ?

    LVL 50

    Assisted Solution

    by:Don Johnston
    Unfortunately, you're going to have a rather difficult time getting an absolute answer. The bottom line is that it's basically impossible to say that "HP is just as good as Cisco" and back it up with proof. It all comes down to opinion. While it's true that Cisco has PVST (Per VLAN Spanning Tree), an HP switch can support 802.1s Multi Spanning Tree and accomplish the same thing. And you can keep going down the list of features and capabilities.

    At the end of the day, it's a judgment call. For the most part there's no right or wrong decision... Until 3Com decides to get out of the router market after you just bought a large number of 3Com routers. :-(

    Back in the latter half of the 20th century there was a saying in the office equipment business: "Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM". The point is that while IBM may not have been the cheapest, the newest, , the most innovative or  the prettiest. It was IBM and they would be around and EVERYONE knew the product which means it was a simple matter to find someone to support it.

    So you're not going to get some information here that you can present to your IT team that will convince them that HP is just as good. Just like you won't get something that you can take to your management which will put them at ease for buying Cisco.

    IT always wants the best hardware. So they don't have to worry about failures and support. They also want what everyone else is using so when they look for another job, they'll have experience with the equipment that most people are using. Management (and finance) want to spend less money. They don't care so much about the label on the box. If it can do the job and it cost less money, that'll be their choice.

    So you make a gut decision and sell it. Hopefully, you'll pick HP and it'll work like a champ for years and won't lock you into some proprietary protocol. Or, you'll pick Cisco and find out 9 months later that HP is abandoning LAN switches or the only people that can support HP in your area closed up shop. Then everyone will look at you and think you're a genius.

    Assisted Solution

    Really, at the end of the day it all comes down to support.  I have no experience with HP support but I can tell you that Cisco has phenomenal support and can walk you though just about anything.  Sure, you have to pay for it - but it's worth it & as donjohnston said, it's Cisco - they ain't goin no-where.

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