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HP switch shortage: Chipset problem spreads

Looks like the Cisco supply chain shortage is an epidemic. HP Networking sent a memo to channel partners dated Jan 21, 2011 outlining a backlog of Power over Ethernet (PoE) access switches due to a chipset shortage. Production of these switches won’t resume until June, the memo says.

HP will use what little inventory it has left to fill backlogged orders first. It is unclear how long partners and users have already been waiting on these switches.

HP Networking’s market share has grown steadily this year while Cisco has seen its share of the Ethernet switching market decline 7%. HP’s growth has largely been due to competitively priced switches and lifetime warranties that Cisco can’t meet. But now some wonder whether that competitive pricing and increased market share also contributed to the current backlog.

One channel partner who works with both HP and Cisco believes the backlog is due to the same shortages that have hit many networking and wireless vendors. However, he confirmed a rapid growth in his company’s HP switch sales, which have been spurred by HP’s competitive pricing and customer push-back against Cisco’s SmartNet requirements.

Backlogged products include:

  • J9299A: HP E2520-24G-PoE Switch
  • J9137A: HP E2520-8-PoE Switch
  • J9138A: HP E2520-24-PoE Switch
  • JD877A : HP V1905-8-PoE Switch
  • JD050A: HP NJ1000G IntelliJack
  • JD051A: HP NJ1000G IntelliJack 20-pack
  • JD057A: HP NJ2000G Intellijack
  • JD058A: HP NJ2000G Intellijack 20-pack

As an alternative to these switches, HP’s memo suggests users consider buying step-up switches in the same lines or the non-PoE equivalents.

HP did not return calls to for comment. In the memo, the company wrote that it is “working earnestly to pull in the delivery dates” from its supplier.

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