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Wired Networks Thread, HP A10500 vs Cisco 6500E in Technical; We're looking to replace our aging core, Cisco 6513s with Sup2s that were installed 12 years ago. We've narrowed it ...
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    HP A10500 vs Cisco 6500E

    We're looking to replace our aging core, Cisco 6513s with Sup2s that were installed 12 years ago. We've narrowed it down to the HP A10500 series (newer, faster version of the A7500) or the Cisco 6500E with Sup2Ts (Nexus 7K9 is out of our budget). We're primarily a Cisco shop, but we have some experience with HP A series switches that we just installed in a new building. The 6500E platform would be familiar, but is slightly more expensive and we're concerned about its longevity (the 6500 has been around quite a while). The A10500 is fairly new, it would be different than Cisco (but the CLIs are close enough that it shouldn't be a problem), but is cheaper and has better performance.

    Does anyone have experience with the A10500, or going from Cisco to HP, or from HP to Cisco?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ExplodingLemur View Post
    We're looking to replace our aging core, Cisco 6513s with Sup2s that were installed 12 years ago. We've narrowed it down to the HP A10500 series (newer, faster version of the A7500) or the Cisco 6500E with Sup2Ts (Nexus 7K9 is out of our budget). We're primarily a Cisco shop, but we have some experience with HP A series switches that we just installed in a new building. The 6500E platform would be familiar, but is slightly more expensive and we're concerned about its longevity (the 6500 has been around quite a while). The A10500 is fairly new, it would be different than Cisco (but the CLIs are close enough that it shouldn't be a problem), but is cheaper and has better performance.

    Does anyone have experience with the A10500, or going from Cisco to HP, or from HP to Cisco?
    Yes, we actually went from a multivendor (with many Cisco core switches) setup to a HP/H3C based hardware solution. We took stackable switches instead of modular ones, as lifetime hardware warranty is simply nice. Although HP wants money for its professional A-series of switches. Keeping additional switches ourselves for replacement is simply cheaper for us.

    What performance, ports, features do you need? What requirements to you have? Take a look at the A5800 switch series: SFP+, dual power, MPLS, VPLS, OSPF, ISIS, BGP... Basically many features, the bigger 10500/12500 also have. Perhaps itīs sufficient.
    data sheet: http://h20195.www2.hp.com/V2/GetPDF....A3-0731ENW.pdf

    Perhaps you could provide your comparison matrix between the Cisco and the HP?

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    Quote Originally Posted by snoerre View Post
    Yes, we actually went from a multivendor (with many Cisco core switches) setup to a HP/H3C based hardware solution. We took stackable switches instead of modular ones, as lifetime hardware warranty is simply nice. Although HP wants money for its professional A-series of switches. Keeping additional switches ourselves for replacement is simply cheaper for us.
    Were there any problems you had to overcome in the transition? I feel pretty confident in our ability to configure and manage either Cisco or HP (especially with a Cisco to HP ACL conversion tool we were given), but there are always those hidden problems that can pop up.

    Quote Originally Posted by snoerre View Post
    What performance, ports, features do you need? What requirements to you have? Take a look at the A5800 switch series: SFP+, dual power, MPLS, VPLS, OSPF, ISIS, BGP... Basically many features, the bigger 10500/12500 also have. Perhaps itīs sufficient.
    The stackables weren't quite as attractive to us, we need a lot of fiber interfaces (1gig now, with some 10gig in the future) but very little copper at the core.

    What it really comes down to for us is what's within our budget for the initial purchase as well as ongoing support, and which is most likely still going to be serving our needs 10 years down the road.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ExplodingLemur View Post
    Were there any problems you had to overcome in the transition?
    Well, of course. One DOA unit, some defective ports. But thatīs not the problem. We build our new core in the lab and afterwards set it up at its final destination. Step by step we got it working.

    One hint: Inform your users about every step you do!

    The stackables weren't quite as attractive to us, we need a lot of fiber interfaces (1gig now, with some 10gig in the future) but very little copper at the core.
    Our core is now a solution with 4x 1Gbit/s with LACP. We started ~ 2 years ago with the upgrade, so when SFP+ was actually more expensive than nowadays. But 4 Gbit/s will easily enough for us within the next 5-8 years.

    One topic is hardware performance. The other one is software features. Do we actually need OSPFv3 + PIM-SMv6 now? Well, not really. But it is actually working nowadays. Do not trust any "We are ready for feature XYZ" campaigns some manufacturers will tell you.

    Well, pricing was very important to us: stackable versus modular switches. HP is not the only one charging for warranty for its modular ones, but has lifetime warranty on its stackable devices.
    Buy additional switches, stacking modules+cables, power supplies for replacing defective one yourself keeps your budget friendly. No need for an additional hardware support contract. And this is whatīs important for your bosses.
    Stacking? Of course, but with cheap CX4 modules and cables(at least in those days)

    Talking about the A5800 series. I think it was 8 or 9 units you can stack, so you can cat at least 24x8 SFP ports.

    For software upgrades HP wants money for many products, but maintenance releases are aslo free for some of them: http://h17007.www1.hp.com/docs/suppo...ntySummary.pdf
    We currently do not have any software upgrade contract. Our switches are currently running a firmware release from (was it october) 2011.

    Iīd suggest you to get two demo units for building a stack and playing around. Depending on your budget, you will get those. Try to get those from all of your other preferred manufacturers. Thereīs more than Cisco or HP. Compare them. Take your time.
    Last edited by snoerre; 24th January 2012 at 07:13 PM.

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