Cisco Switches vs HP ProCurve Switches

We're looking at replacing our Cisco edge switches at our company. Currently we're looking at Cisco or HP switches right now as the replacements.

We're currently a Cisco shop but what HP is offering us it is hard not to look at what they have. HP is avearging to be 50% cheaper, no yearly maintanace fee and lifetime warranty on the product.

With the way the economy is going it is hard to tell the number crunchers to go with Cisco when HP is looking like such a deal.

Has anybody went from Cisco switches to HP or that went from HP to Cisco?

If so, could you compare the +/- from switching from one vendor to another.


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I use them both. Cisco has way more features than HP, so if you use more of the advanced features, you'll probably find HP lacking a bit more of the adanced features, and being more of just the basics of what a managed switch should be.

But, if the feature set matches with what you are using them for, ProCurves have been pretty dependable.

I guess I don't factor maintenance in, as I stock my own spares, and don't need to upgrade much, so most of my stuff isn't on Smartnet. Most of the Catalyst line is on a limited lifetime waranty though as well?

I haven't seen 50%, but yes the HPs are a bit cheaper. Ie. looking at like the L3 managed switchs from cisco vs. the HPs. the ProCurve 2848 is $3200 at CDW vs. Cisco WS-C3560G-48TS-S at $5500. I guess thats about 40%.

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Doug McIntyre

It's not just any old warranty either, it includes [IME] advanced hardware replacement.

I suggest the OP takes a thorough look at his network setup to absolutely sure that all the features he relies on are present in the equivalent HP model, eg he may need to add on a Procurve Premium license for OSPF.

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Greg schrieb:


think twice, and compare the features. ProCurve have a CLI similar to Cisco, but they take a different approach.

One stunning example is trunks:

In IOS you create a trunk, and once it's up and running you can add or remove interfaces to and from the trunk by configuring the interface as port channel member.

In ProCurve, you have to delete and recreate the trunk, but then you have to configure all vlans back to the trunk (vlan , tagged trkxx). Worst case scenario here is you need to get into the switch via that trunk. In this case you literally chop off the branch you sit on.

Many of the show ** commands do not have a corresponding equivalent in ProCurve.

Worst case scenario is a mixed environment. You can never be sure what is possible where, and always bear in mind the different approach each vendor takes.

In short: If you have more than one site, go for Cisco. A single site can afford to run ProCurve, but NEVER plan to run a heterogeneous environment.

Just my 4 cents


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Thanks for the info, Albert. While I'm not the original poster, I've thought about integrating ProCurve into smaller areas of my environment. Those are indeed some glaring issues. I bought into the Juniper argument about how much superior to Cisco they are and such. I've been somewhat disappointed. I hate to be a all-you-can-eat Cisco buffet, but I've yet to find a product at substantial savings that doesn't introduce some headache that impacts production and/or doesn't end up being the benefit as originally hoped.

Thanks for the tangible examples...if you have more, feel free to pass along! wrote:

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The answer is, as usual, it depends. In this case it depends upon your architecture.

We have had HP Procurve 4100s in our closets with more than 48 ports since 2002. Cisco only offered the 4000 followed by the 4500 series for denser closets. The cat 2980 was ridiculous. The catalyst 4000s were not impressive and overpriced. Upstream from the Procurves are typically Catalyst 3550/3560s that aggregate a larger building or a campus and flow upstream to a 6500 with dual sup 720s. While deciding, search for "Cisco Procurve spanning tree" and read the RPVST+ document from HP. There are others, also. Very interesting. If you are looking at current Procurves, consider 802.1s. In reality,

802.1d will work, but it gets a noisy. My experience with trunking has been okay. LACP works okay, is dynamic, and I've never had to delete the whole config. to modify. There are some models with a limit of four ports on the trunk/channel. (careful with the term "trunk" it means different things) I don't really recommend PAgP, even on Cisco-Cisco, but that's in the same vein as OSP vs. EIGRP. I would not, however, recommend HP L3 switches, except at the edge where L3 has been pushed down to the closet. That's a Cisco arch. that was pushed a bit by the Cisco enterprise folks. There is too much advantage to having Cisco routing in the LAN core. It depends upon your design objectives, but QOS policing, bidir PIM, and features like VRF-lite virtualization with OSPF are too good to pass on.

All in all, if it L2 at the closet, and you have good Cisco L3 upstream, Procurves are good products. They are pretty fast.

I have no experience with any ipv6 issues.

good luck.

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