Nortel: Get out of the Cisco rut

A quick glance at some of the comments to many Cisco Subnet community discussions here always come back to the question of why some shops buy Cisco - because it makes superior products or because Cisco is a safe bet (as in your job is probably safe if you buy Cisco)? In this week's Network World Wide Area Networking Alert newsletter, the authors present Nortel's arguments for why customers should get into the habit of considering a best-of-breed approach to networking, rather than opt for a Cisco lock-in. (The newsletter authors last week gave the platform to Cisco here and here, so the argument is balanced.)

Tony Rybczynski, Nortel's director strategic enterprise technologies, writes:

The sad fact is that too many enterprises have the ‘My vendor is my only trusted advisor and I never look at other alternatives’ relationship with Cisco, and are paying premium prices for less performance than they can get on the open market. It’s true that the enterprise has ‘one throat to choke’, but is there any doubt that Cisco is the real beneficiary of the generosity of its paying customers?

Cisco argues minimal complexity and high availability with single vendor, but with hundreds of features that most don’t use and that decrease software reliability and increase configuration errors, this is a hollow claim. They argue minimal MTTR, but since when is a monopoly model the path to responsive service? They claim lower operations costs and then put you on a recurring upgrade cycle! They claim acceleration of innovation, but their network-centric architecture, is just the opposite, as will be demonstrated in the second half of this 'counterpoint.'

Read on here and jump into the debate here.

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