Advice regarding Cisco/Juniper/HP

Ray Soucy rps at
Fri Jun 25 02:53:29 UTC 2010

For large campuses that have a lot (hundreds) of switches, Cisco seems
to win out over HP from a TCO standpoint.

I've consistently seen HP switches have higher failure rates, which
isn't a big deal if you're a smaller shop, but when you have a large
campus (or several large campuses across a state in our case) the
man-power that you need to run around and do equipment swaps adds up
pretty quick.  I think what we do using about 10 people in a Cisco
environment would be closer to 20 in an HP and Juniper environment, so
those additional salaries and benefits need to be a factor.

Cisco VTP is a killer app for VLAN management IMHO, but only for
campus deployments, really.  If you're a service provider you probably
will be running in transparent mode.

As far as Cisco's failure rate... I'm not proud of it, but given that
we're a public institution and limited in funding we still have a
large amount of 3500 XL series switches that have been running for 10+
years without failure in harsh environments (old buildings, boiler
rooms...).  It's nice to have that level of dependability in hardware
and it certainly makes our lives easier.

To be fair, I don't know many large HP deployments anymore as most of
them have moved to Cisco, so I'd be interested in hearing from people
who run an HP shop for a campus.  The pricing and warranty seem hard
to resist, but if the failure rates are still high it's hard to make a

On Thu, Jun 24, 2010 at 5:55 PM, Carl Rosevear <crosevear at> wrote:
>> That's strange, I abhor the Cisco way of doing VLANs and love the
>> HP/Procurve method.
>> What do you find so irritating?
> I find it irritating because I am often running thousands of vlans and
> do not want to explicitly type them all out in the config or to have
> to do so with a script.  `switch trunk allowed vlan 2-3000` is much
> more awesome, for me.
> ---Carl

Ray Soucy

Epic Communications Specialist

Phone: +1 (207) 561-3526

Networkmaine, a Unit of the University of Maine System

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