HP Networking
HP Networking – discover the power of networking simplicity.
Get a variety of perspectives on HP Networking innovations, products and solutions from some of the leading experts in enterprise business networking. HP Networking has been a leader in SDN since 2007 and provides leading campus, data center and network virtualization solutions.

Mythbusting with Gartner: The multi-vendor network

By: Mike Banic, HP Networking VP Marketing

Finally, the myth of the single-vendor network has been debunked by Gartner in research published last week.

For years, I’ve heard customers say they believe or have been told that a single networking vendor’s throat to choke is better because it reduces complexity, simplifies management and lowers cost. However, some customers have come to find that the throat being choked is their’s. These customers have learned that purchasing from a single vendor with dominates market share has driven up costs and complexity. My POV has always been that while Cisco may be one company, there hasn’t been an “all-Cisco” network for over a decade because they haven’t integrated products and technology from acquisitions. Instead, customers have been forced to bear the cost of Cisco’ costly catalogue of complexity. Cisco customers have been loyal because of the service and education available to them, but recent evidence indicates some customers feel their loyalty has been exploited.


Cisco+HPN composite-rack.jpgWith a tier-one network supplier offers simpler architectures that deliver a lower cost
of ownership, such as HP Networking, customers now have choice where there was none before.  Sure, competition can mean better pricing for customers.  However, more meaningful savings are delivered through architectural innovation. 


As an example, HP architectures can reduce network tiers from three to two.  You may ask why Cisco wouldn’t do the same? It’s because Cisco can’t grow its revenue if it sells less networking gear to its installed base. In my opinion, this is a perfect example of how a vendor with dominant market share behaves in a manner contrary to the needs of its customers and why customers are starting to feel that it is their throat being choked.


Gartnergrap11-23-2010 8-50-41 AM.jpgSo what did Gartner say in the new report titled “Debunking the Myth of the Single-Vendor Network (Nov, 2010)”? I first want to encourage all you to click the link above and read the report. Built from information gathered in hundreds of client interactions and nine in depth customer interviews, this new Gartner research debunks the following 6 critical myths, which we here at HP Networking already knew were fallacies:


1: Training and Talent Myth: The market is filled with Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) and other Cisco accredited network professionals, while finding certified staff for other vendors is much more difficult.

2: Interoperability Myth: It’s impossible to get two vendors’ products reliably working together in a network.

3: Complexity Myth: Adding another network infrastructure vendor more than doubles the complexity of the architecture.

4: Staffing Myth: Double the number of network infrastructure vendors means increasing the number of network staff.

5: Equipment and Maintenance Cost Myth: Loyalty to the incumbent vendor provides an opportunity to negotiate the best deals and keep costs under control.

6: Network Management Myth: Adding a second vendor will require the purchase of a lot of extra management tools.

Again, I encourage you to read this Gartner report and welcome your comments. Do you agree with these myths? What’s your point of view on single vs. multi-vendor networks? What should we in HP Networking be doing to get this right for your business?

If you want to know what HP Networking can offer your business, please go to www.hp.com/networking to learn how HP is changing the rules of networking.

Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Do you mean 
About the Author

Follow Us
The opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the authors, not of HP. By using this site, you accept the Terms of Use and Rules of Participation.