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Cisco executives at the conference this week were vocal about the company's competitors, with Chairman and CEO John Chambers going as far as to say competitors won't win against the networking giant.
"The message that we must give together to our competitors is, 'If you are going to compete against Cisco and its ecosystem, you are going to lose.' And history is littered with companies big and small that have learned this," Chambers told partners Tuesday during a keynote address.
"It's good to see Cisco acknowledging and dealing with the competition instead of just ignoring it," Sigmanet's Reese said. "Sometimes the bigger man is the one who can walk away, but sometimes the bigger man is the one who stands and defends himself, too. Cisco is defending itself."
The server market has become a hotly contested space, even as it continues to shrink. Recent server market share figures from Gartner show HP maintained the No. 1 spot in terms of unit shipments for the first quarter of 2013 but lost share to rivals, including No. 2 Dell and No. 5 Cisco.
Cisco does not have a trade-in program targeting Dell servers, Growdon said.
Kristin Bent contributed to this story