Reseller News

Vendors vie for top green networking rank

Networking vendors Nortel, 3Com and Cisco have each announced third party research they say positions their products as the greenest.

As part of the local launch of its global partner campaign Fact or Fiction, Nortel cites a study earlier this year by the US-based Tolly Group that Nortel claims shows products in its networking portfolio consume 50 percent less energy than those of rivals.

Nortel says the campaign actively compares the sustainability, performance and reliability of its data networking products with those of competitors.

“It is far more targeted and far more confrontational in terms of some of our competition in the marketplace,” says Australia and New Zealand channels and marketing manager Neville James.

“We think our products are better in terms of how they compare in speed, reliability and green IT, which is the most innovative aspect.”

In addition Nortel has released an online Energy Efficiency Calculator, for resellers to calculate end users’ energy consumption and help them reduce it. The calculator has been customised with local power pricing and carbon emission rates, James says.

Cisco systems engineer Gareth Taylor says Nortel’s comparison of the energy efficiency of some of its equipment “doesn’t look particularly accurate”.

“The important thing for customers, is they need to understand what is being compared and how equipment is been compared,” he says.

A key question is whether non-power over Ethernet switches are being compared to power-over Ethernet switches, which he believes was the case in Nortel’s comparison with Cisco products. Other important factors are whether the switches are of similar capabilities, how the test was conducted, whether ports were enabled and what kind of traffic load was tested, Taylor says.

“You have to look at the products being tested, you need some empirical data. It’s like comparing something being installed in the home versus something you would install in an office.

Taylor says Cisco has shown leadership in the green IT arena, being the first vendor whose LAN switches have been certified green under a new programme by independent networking testers Miercom. Cisco’s Catalyst 3750-E, 3560-E, 3750, 3560, and 2960 series switches are thought to be the first products designated as Certified Green under the scheme. However, Taylor expects other vendors will also achieve the certification.

“It looks like green’s becoming the new battlefield which is great,” he says.

3Com, meanwhile, has announced a study by US market researchers In-Stat that it claims find the vendor’s LAN switches are as much as 60 percent more energy efficient than its rivals’.

3Com claims that in InStat’s report, Green Networking Equipment: “Who Leads and Who Lags,” the analysts calculated the energy efficiency of leading vendors’ 24 and 48-port switches, and found 3Com products were the clear leaders.

A comparison of the fabric capacity per watt of 24-port Gigabit Ethernet fixed, managed layer two and three switches, claimed 3Com outpaced the rest of the industry with about 3.25 Gb per second per watt, 3Com says of the InStat research.

HP ProCurve Sydney-based channel manager Mike Pritchard was unavailable for comment prior to Reseller News’ deadline.