Search /
Advanced search  |  Help  |  Site map
Click for Layer 8! No, really, click NOW!
Networking for Small Business
Where's my gigabit Internet, anyway?
Americans cool with lab-grown organs, but not designer babies
IE6: Retired but not dead yet
Enterprise who? Google says little about Apps, business cloud services in Q1 report
DDoS Attackers Change Techniques To Wallop Sites
Can we talk? Internet of Things vendors face a communications 'mess'
AMD's profitability streak ends at two quarters
Michaels says breach at its stores affected nearly 3M payment cards
Exclusive: Google's Project Loon tests move to LTE band in Nevada
H-1B loophole may help California utility offshore IT jobs
How a cyber cop patrols the underworld of e-commerce
For Red Hat, it's RHEL and then…?
Will the Internet of Things Become the Internet of Broken Things?
Kill switches coming to iPhone, Android, Windows devices in 2015
Israeli start-up, working with GE, out to detect Stuxnet-like attacks
Galaxy S5 deep-dive review: Long on hype, short on delivery
Google revenue jumps 19 percent but still disappoints
Windows XP's retirement turns into major security project for Chinese firm
Teen arrested in Heartbleed attack against Canadian tax site
Still deploying 11n Wi-Fi?  You might want to think again
Collaboration 2.0: Old meets new
9 Things You Need to Know Before You Store Data in the Cloud
Can Heartbleed be used in DDoS attacks?
Secure browsers offer alternatives to Chrome, IE and Firefox
Linksys WRT1900AC Wi-Fi router: Faster than anything we've tested

IBM sells out

Today's breaking news
Send to a friendFeedback

I never thought I'd see the day when IBM's Networking Hardware Division (NHD) would push its customers into Cisco's arms.

The once-vaunted network technology group all but called it quits last week by selling its routing and switching technology to archrival Cisco. That gurgling sound you heard coming from Research Triangle Park was the sound of NHD drowning in its own hyperbole.

Having followed IBM for 11 years, I have to say this move was not unexpected but still hard to take. Nothing against Cisco mind you, it had the power and cash - the company paid about $600 million for the patents and technology - to get IBM out of the way. And IBM was indeed in the way of many large accounts Cisco coveted.

Users - many dyed-in-the-wool pure IBM customers (they are still out there) - tell me they are concerned about being abandoned by IBM and bemoan the ever-decreasing amount of competition in the network arena. To borrow from Bill Clinton: I feel your pain.

In my opinion, the industry has also lost some of its character with this announcement. I already miss the IBM executives who used to threaten to "kill" or "eat our own young" before they let Cisco in the door to any of their big accounts. I guess those executives ran out of things to munch on. There were also "ominous" threats over the years by IBM to sue Cisco over alleged patent infringements (nothing ever became of those warnings).

Cisco wasn't faultless. Company executives routinely accused IBM of doing nothing but "throwing up a smoke screen of confusion and fear." Sometimes screaming matches would break out between Cisco and IBM engineers at the SHARE user conference. It was fun to watch.

That said, NHD long ago relinquished control of its destiny when the group failed to comprehend IP and the router. Oh sure, IBM executives blustered and claimed the division had IP and switching technology that was every bit as good as anybody else's, but when it came time to walk the walk, IBM tripped.

In the end, NHD all but ends with a whimper. I somehow expected more than that.

What do you think? E-mail me with your thoughts.

- Michael Cooney

Associate news editor

NWFusion offers more than 40 FREE technology-specific email newsletters in key network technology areas such as NSM, VPNs, Convergence, Security and more.
Click here to sign up!
New Event - WANs: Optimizing Your Network Now.
Hear from the experts about the innovations that are already starting to shake up the WAN world. Free Network World Technology Tour and Expo in Dallas, San Francisco, Washington DC, and New York.
Attend FREE
Your FREE Network World subscription will also include breaking news and information on wireless, storage, infrastructure, carriers and SPs, enterprise applications, videoconferencing, plus product reviews, technology insiders, management surveys and technology updates - GET IT NOW.