Advice regarding Cisco/Juniper/HP

Greg Whynott Greg.Whynott at
Thu Jun 17 17:21:46 UTC 2010

Haven't seen these same issues either,  but have seen others..

We use HP 8212's here to connect our storage and hpc devices.   each 8212 has about 20 or more 10Gbit connections.   Everyone is happy with them from an availability and performance perspective.  Two things which I noticed,  1.  Under heavy load (60% or more of 10Gbit interfaces at +80%) we have seen _all_ interfaces simultaneously  drop packets and generate interface errors.   this was on an early release of the firmware and I don't think we have seen this problem in awhile.  2. each module only has about 28 Gbits of bandwidth to the backplane.  this means if you want non blocking 10Gbit access to the backplan you can only load up an 8212 50% of its physical port capacity with active links.  

Very recently they changed licensing,  the 8212's use to ship with premium licenses included.  this gave you OSPF,  PIM VRRP and QinQ.   without a product number change or other clear indication,  these no longer are included but must be purchased separately.   This was a bit of a let down as we use OSPF internally and was one of the items that made the 8212's interesting when deciding what we would standardize on for access switches.     

We also use 6509e's for our core routers,   they use to be the only routers till we deployed OSPF.   On the internet edge we use ASRs.

The 'H3C' switches they recently acquired look nice(r).


On Jun 17, 2010, at 12:47 PM, Tom Ammon wrote:

> We've had a much different experience than what Tom is describing here. 
> We've used HP extensively in our networks, mostly because of the price 
> and warranty. For simple, flat networks, they are a great buy, in my 
> opinion. We've never seen the packet loss issues that were described, 
> and we push quite a bit of data through the 5412, 2900, and 6600 series 
> products.
> That said, we've never used them for much outside of basic layer 2 
> services. We have a couple of c6500s for our core network, but at the 
> edge, we have been very happy with HP. So far, warranty service has been 
> flawless, although we have only replaced maybe half a dozen switches out 
> of about 70 total that we have installed, over the course of 5 years.
> There isn't much as far as advanced features (for example, don't expect 
> to get MPLS or BGP), but since we don't use those features at the edge, 
> we haven't been hurt by that.
> Tom
> On 06/17/2010 10:37 AM, Tom wrote:
>> On Thu, 17 Jun 2010, James Smith wrote:
>>> So my questions to the NANOG community are: Would you recommend HP over
>>> Cisco or Juniper?
>> Pretty much never, unless you're talking about a rebadged Brocade product.
>> Every time I've seen HP networking gear in production, its usually before
>> it gets replaced with something else. The last install I dealt with was
>> having so many problems it had a constant %10 packetloss on a simple flat
>> network.
>>> How is HP's functionality and performance compared to Cisco or Juniper?
>> Typically poor, but this varies widely with the series of HP gear.
>> The software updates available also vary widely in quality, and I have
>> rarely gotten a good answer from HP support on anything.
>>> Does anyone have any HP networking experiences they can share, good or
>>> bad?
>> To end on a positive note, HP does have a good warranty, is typically
>> fairly low cost and provides free software updates.
>> -Tom
> -- 
> --------------------------------------------------------------------
> Tom Ammon
> Network Engineer
> Office: 801.587.0976
> Mobile: 801.674.9273
> Center for High Performance Computing
> University of Utah

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