Cisco Rival Woos Wall Street: Can It Walk The Talk? - InformationWeek

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IT Leadership // CIO Insights & Innovation
Commentary
9/10/2009
11:30 AM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
Commentary
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Cisco Rival Woos Wall Street: Can It Walk The Talk?

If Blade Network Technologies can deliver even half of what it's promising, it will give some of Cisco's Wall Street clients something to think about when they look to buy network switches. Blade's CEO says his company crushes Cisco on latency, power consumption, and TCO. (He also says one ox can outperform 1,000 chickens.)

If Blade Network Technologies can deliver even half of what it's promising, it will give some of Cisco's Wall Street clients something to think about when they look to buy network switches. Blade's CEO says his company crushes Cisco on latency, power consumption, and TCO. (He also says one ox can outperform 1,000 chickens.)From an article by InformationWeek.com's sister brand, WallStreet&Technology.com, by Penny Crossman:

[Blade CEO Vikram] Mehta says Blade's network switches achieve latencies that are one-fifteenth Cisco's. "To firms on Wall Street, time is money, and if they can cut latency in their network, they can get information a lot faster and trade on that information," he says. The silicon that Blade uses in its switches is more efficient than Cisco's, Mehta says. It's a high-performance ASIC . . . rather than the multiple proprietary ASICs Cisco uses. "It's like having one big ox pull a plow as opposed to 1,000 chickens," he says.

Blade beats Cisco on power consumption, Mehta says, as superior design allows Blade's equipment to use 65% less power than comparable products from Cisco. A year ago, tests by an independent researcher put that figure at 30%, according to the WallStreet&Technology.com piece.

Looking at that discrepancy, I have to wonder: perhaps Mehta's company has spent the past year making vast improvements in the power requirements for its products, but perhaps Mehta's claims about Blade's performance versus Cisco's need to be vetted vigorously. Still, a 30% improvement in these times of intense scrutiny on energy costs is a significant advantage.

On the third comparative point of cost of ownership, Mehta claims that the cost for acquiring and maintaining Blade's products are "one-fifth to one-tenth those of Cisco's," according to the article. Again, if Blade can walk that talk, those are very impressive improvements.

On top of its claims of dramatically better performance metrics than Cisco, Blade also said it has just received an undisclosed amount of funding from NEC, Juniper Networks, and another partner.

And if Mehta truly intends to put his one ox up against Cisco's 1,000 chickens, he's going to need all those resources because his ox will not be the first to find that it's awfully difficult to send those Cisco chickens home to roost.

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