ProCurve on the edge

Published: March 10th, 2006

As third overall in the network space, according to IDC Canada, Hewlett-Packard’s ProCurve Networking division is looking to solidify its presence with a new series of network switches built on its unique programmable ASIC chip, designed specifically for network edge services.

The ProCurve 5400 chassis family and ProCurve 3500 stackable family together scale across a range of 24 to 288 Gigabit ports with identical features, performance and lifetime warranty.

Both switch series are also built on ProCurve’s Adaptive Edge architecture, which pushes intelligence out to the edge of the network making it easier for the network to make decisions at the point at which users actually connect, said Darren Hamilton, business category manager for ProCurve at HP Canada.

“With innovation like adaptive edge architecture, we now see other vendors that are starting to guide customers towards an intelligence edge solution, which is something we have been gearing our customers towards,” said Hamilton.

“It’s clear that it’s a better typology in todays networks and provides customers with better performance and better security.”

Each port on the 5400 and 3500 supports 10/100/1000 as well as power-over-Ethernet (PoE). And the ProVision ASIC, added Hamilton, provides full wire speed performance no matter how the partner configures the switch.

“It also runs at the full speed that the media is capable of supporting without off loading certain things back to the core,” he said.

As for its market share, Hamilton said the company is well positioned with the 5400 and 3500 to start taking away from the market leader Cisco.

“We’re challenging our reseller partners and customers to compare their existing solutions and have another look and revisit their investment,” he said.

Canadian small- and medium-sized businesses aren’t making investments continuously the way enterprises are, Hamilton added. That’s because SMBs want the majority of the cost of ownership paid in the acquisition of the goods.

According to Alan Freedman, a research analyst at IDC Canada, the small and medium-sized space is where Hewlett-Packard can make its mark.

“They seem to be focusing on areas their target customer would be interested in,” he said.

“They realize they’re not going to get the biggest piece of the pie in the large enterprise accounts, which typically goes to incumbent Cisco.”

By integrating more functionality into these devices, added Freedman, HP is trying to facilitate better management and ease of use, along with better price performance and price per port.