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Cisco, IBM to ally 31

Silverpike writes "Cicso and IBM have announced that they will now partner on networking technologies. All existing IBM networking equipment will cease development and maintain support. Cisco gets IBM networking patents and preference on all new silicon devices. IBM Global Services will now also sell Cicso products. " Lotsa money exchanging hands-2 billion. Cisco starts to use more IBM custom chips, while IBM sells Cisco stuff.
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Cisco, IBM to ally

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  • Okay this is not that exciting, but I am excited anyway. Don't ask why.
  • I wonder what this will mean for the future of IBM's Token ring technology?
  • could be phased out, or upgraded some how

    only time will tell
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 31, 1999 @04:36AM (#1715432)
    Actually Cisco rarely buys "competition". What it tends to do is to buy companies with better technology than its own. It bought Kalpana for its switch technoloy, same with Crescendo. The original AGS was actually a SUN VME machine with odd software.

    I have no problem with the way Cisco does business. If it was to buy Bay Networks off Nortel or Ascend from whoever owns them just now then that would be anticompetetive. The point is that Cisco are actually quite well behaved on the scale of things. Sure they buy a lot of companies, but these companies were never direct competition to them.

    Cisco are the largest IP networking company for a good reason. Their products are good and not too expensive on the relative scale of things. Strategic alliances with Compaq, HP and now IBM can never hurt. Can you imagine what the "Microsoft IP Gigabit Router" would look like? Now stop bitching about Cisco.

  • Actually, the Cisco AGS was a MultiBus system, not a VMEbus system. The "cBus" looks vaguely like a VME, but that came later, in the AGS+

    As for the anti-competitive aspects of this alliance, you might want to ask IBM why they 86'd their network products - could it be that they weren't even vaguely competitive, and perhaps they see more market advantage selling Cisco's products instead?

  • It seems I managed to misspell Cisco every single time. Maybe it's the trauma of being suddenly out of a job :)...

    u shud hire me i'm a gud spelr :).

  • And you don't have problems with Lucent doing the same thing? They're twice as big as Cisco and they recently aquired Ascend (as if a switch company couldn't make packet routers...)...
  • And Disney. Then we could have a whole net-tech-media-tainment conglomerate. Whoopie!
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I realize that everyone is entitled to his opinion, and I respect this. I also hope that you will all respect mine as you read this letter. As this letter will make clear, I wouldn't waste my time trying to challenge the present and enrich the future if Cisco Systems' vituperations weren't parroted by so many disagreeable exhibitionists. Even people who consider themselves despicable neanderthals generally agree that there is reason to fear that incomprehensible autocrats will take us all on an entirely reckless ride into the unknown one day. All that we have achieved may now be lost, if not in the bright flames of insurrectionism, then in the dense smoke of the feral blathering slurs promoted by juvenile nonentities. In hearing about Cisco's antics, one gets the distinct impression that the little I've written so far already buttresses the assertion that Cisco invents problems in order to provide itself with an excuse for making a fuss.

    They talk loudly about family values and personal responsibility, but when it comes to backing up those words with actions, all Cisco does is saddle the economy with crippling debt. If the mass news media were actually in the business of covering news rather than molding public attitudes to open new avenues for the expression of hate, they would unequivocally report that his lickspittles have more understanding of beer and milk regulations than of farsighted plans for the future. Under these conditions, thanks to Cisco, meretricious political movements are experiencing a resurgence around the world. After having read this, you may think that Cisco Systems' tirades are a cancer that is slowly eating away at our flesh. Nevertheless, you should always remember that if the country were overrun by laughable misers, we could expect to observe widespread discrimination in our daily lives -- stares from sales clerks, taxis that don't stop, and unwarranted license and registration checks by police.

  • This is going to be where the big time growth is over the next decade.

    From my standpoint, this is exciting stuff as well.

    All the major players are jockying for position. Look at all the companies that became involved when AT&T bought MediaOne (Time Warner, Microsoft, AOL, MCI WorldComm...)! AOL has now formed a coalition to force Ma Bell to open those lines, while on the other broadband side, striking deals with Bell Atlantic, GTE, Ameritech and other baby's for DSL, and starting investments with satelite broadband providers.

    Paul Allen has stealthily bought a huge cable network as well, while Bill Gates has done the same thing in Europe.

    Cisco and Lucent are buying up new technologies (and paying outrageous prices for them) faster than you can blink. Microsoft is investing in everything under the sun. Sattelite communications companies are dieing, despite the vast sums of money pumped into them.

    One time small(er) players are becoming big-boys fast. Qwest is buying US West. Global Crossing buying Frontier.
    You have everyone providing internet connections. Long distance companies selling local service and cable access, and regional bells selling long distance.

    This is exciting... who needs college football!!??
  • IBM and CISCO ought to gang up and buy Ziff Davis, then they could really sell some stuff.
  • Sorry, I don't see what your talking about. Your writing is unclear, and fails to even imply to a tangable piece of evidence.

    I don't know who works for Cisco, or what thier like. But, it would take a lot more than this rubbish to make me believe something was wrong.

    Simply sounds like the rantings of a lunitic. Anyone know what the heck this guy is talking about? If there is a point in there, I would like to know what it is.

  • The hospital at which I'm working had IBM come in to, basically re-engineer their existing token ring network. IBM's favourite solution seems to be to phase token ring out, put in ethernet, and connect the ethernet hubs to the core network through redundant ATM switches with fibre.

    I have to admit, it was somewhat funny sitting in on a meeting with IBM network engineers while they talked about how bad token ring was.

  • IBM employees are like that with a lot of products. I've been on the phone with IBM techs while they try to log into servers in their office using Tivoli, you should hear them cursing.

    I haven't talked to an IBM employee yet who likes Tivoli.

  • I'm beginning to feel queasy. Say it isn't so...
  • You might notice I am the one who submitted this story. I am also an employee of IBM's Networking Hardware Division, and I think I can shed some light on this "partnership."

    Let me be blunt. My division has been dying a slow death for several years now, and this is the last nail in the coffin. Up until this agreement, we produced hubs, routers, and switches, which is now (almost) entirely sold to Cicso. Our division of 2000+ people are now all spending the next two weeks cleaning up our resumes.

    Cicso made out like champs on this one. They have no obligation to support our old boxes, which has been kept squarely on IBM (at great support cost as well). Cisco has acquired every design aspect of our data networking products, right down to the source code.

    IBM Global services, however, will sell Cicso stuff, and Cicso will make huge inroads into the Mainframe and Channel Attached markets (i.e. ESCON and parallel channel) which were previously dominated by us (for whatever that was worth).

    Don't be fooled by the large $2 billion number -- they would have spent that much anyway on our chips. $2 billion over 5 years comes out to $400 million per year, which is not much for someone with volumes like Cicso. They have already been making deals with IBM Microelectronics before this was announced.

    Token Ring and SNA, however, will remain the IP of IBM. There will be a small group of people left here to maintain development on these fronts, but don't expect any significant new designs on this front. Which is fine with Cicso, because these technologies aren't really going anywhere anyway.

    Ironic, really, because at one point in our division's history we had the perfect opportunity to buy Cisco, lock, stock, and barrel. Needless to say we have been kicking ourselves daily for that screw up.

    And on a lighter note, if anyone reading this is interested in hiring a hardware systems/low level code design engineer, mail me here [mailto] :).
  • Cisco is pretty good as mega-giant networking companies go. They have clues, and they know how to use them. I think IBM let their networking stuff go a bit cheap, but I think this is going to be a good move in the long term. ObDisclaimer: I do own some IBM stock.

    Cisco stuff is fairly expensive, but it works great, and the tech support can't be beat. Compare this to Lucent or Nortel. Allow me to rant about them here:

    I have a customer who bought close to $100,000 worth of Nortel gear. One unit had a bad processor card, still under warranty. Nortel didn't want to overnight them the part because they hadn't ponied up the $4,000 for a service contract. 2 week turn around for replacement, or you could pay $750 for "express" service to get a new board in 2 days. After much yelling and screaming and beating up the regional sales manager, we got one at no charge in about 4 days.

    Lucent -- same sort of BS. Another client, buys big ass telephone system (over $250,000). Deal is haggled over, prices trimed, etc. contract gets signed. After contract signed and system is being installed, RatBastard salesman tells us that several critical boards and other items were "not in your purchase specification" and get change orders for several thousand dollars. Tech support and service contract is $20,000/year. And then, on top of all of that, Lucent doesn't allow customers access to their own equipment to make changes. That's right, even with your own technical staff, you are prevented from making certain changes (such as resetting a T1 interface) from within the PBX. You have to call Lucent to do this. OR.... they will sell you an "upgrade option" to give you the privs to control T1 ports on the PBX for only a few thousand dollars.

    Can you image if Cisco did this? Imagine having to shell out money to get administrative control of an expensive piece of equipment that you already own? Or having to call someone else to reset a down circuit for you in the middle of the night?

    This is why I think that Lucent will eventually die. Cisco will compete with them in the telephony space and do it very well, without all of the overhead, insane pricing, and old thinking. Lucent routinely has 4 or more different techs do the setup work on a PBX -- one can only do wiring, another can only do telephone station programming, another can only do trunk programming, etc. Compare this to your average ISP where 1 or 2 guys will throw a complete POP up in a day or two, running all the wiring, setting up racks and power, doing router programming, dial access equipment setup, etc.

    Whenever I had had a problem with Cisco gear, I have either had a solution within a few hours or a new unit arriving via FedEx the next day, with a minimum of hassles and very little of the "did you plug it in and turn it on?" variety of tech support.

  • Cisco and IBM are also concidering to merge. Read about it somewhere on
  • Personally, I'd like to see it shaped up for the next millenium. It seems that 100Mbit Token Ring is on its way (see ' 93&SubArea=1 '). Compared to Ethernet, it truly is a superior technology, especially when it comes to things like multimedia over networks.

    To those who don't like Token Ring - we fear what we don't understand. ;)

  • Gawd, I hate bad gibberish - generation software.

Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. -- F.M. Hubbard