Hewlett-Packard is to build a core switch using high-speed technology it acquired from Riverstone Networks.
The chassis switch will be based on a low-cost high-speed architecture that puts intelligence at the edge of the network.
"What we do will be 180 degrees out of phase with what Cisco does," said Jon Weatherall, HP's UK Procurve networking manager.
"We are moving functions like prioritisation and authorisation from the core to the edge. Our customers need a fast-switching fabric without too much intelligence."
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Cisco's strategy is to continue building more in the core, he said. "That is more expensive and less resilient."
HP's ProCurve network division has acquired hardware designs and operating system technology from Riverstone, along with the rights to develop the technology further for enterprise customers.
Peter Judge writes for Techworld.com