Cisco's switching business has come under fire as of late, following two successive quarters of year-over-year quarterly revenue declines in the switching portfolio. Lloyd defended Cisco's switches, identifying three reasons they're a better buy than HP's or any other competitor's: Cisco's custom ASICs offer better investment protection than merchant silicon, Cisco's switches enable network functions that go far beyond commodity-grade connectivity, and the industry -- including the channel -- is deep with Cisco knowledge, he said.
"The infrastructure -- the ecosystem of systems and expertise is around Cisco. Think of a switch: three years from now, who's going to be supporting that switch? Is it the same company, the same person? If you look at that underlying capability in this industry, it's a Cisco capability. That's a huge differentiation," he said."