Hewlett-Packard (HP) ProCurve has launched a fresh assault on its networking rivals by unveiling a new WAN range aimed at blocking out other vendors from ProCurve accounts.
Peter Hulleman, senior research analyst at IDC, said the launch is essential for ProCurve's strategy. "If 3Com or HP sell a LAN to an enterprise, there's likely to still be a Cisco part in the shape of the router. It gives Cisco a chance to get its foot in the door," he said.
"Lots of LAN guys are getting into WAN, including Enterasys and Foundry. Enterasys and 3Com are proving that it's do-able."
The new products include the Secure Router 7000dl series and an Access Control Module (ACM) for the Switch 5300cl. The 7000dl series comes in two versions, supports E1 connections and is roughly analogous to Cisco's 1700, 1800, 2600 and 2800 routers for the low-end version.
However, HP denies strenuously that it wishes to enter the router space. "We are not entering the router market," said Bruno Hareng, product manager for ProCurve in EMEA. "We are expanding our range to address customer and reseller needs."
The routers have additional security, supporting virtual LAN and a stateful firewall. ProCurve's Switch 5300cl and HP Manager, its management software, will be upgraded to support HP Virus Throttle. This detects unusual levels of activity from devices and uses rate limiting to reduce the volume of attacks from an infected machine.
The new ACM module for the 5300cl, which adds wireless LAN access control and management to the switch, is also a precursor to more developments by the company.
"Modules are a prototype of what we want to build into our devices in the future," said Bill Johnson, director of research and development at HP ProCurve. "All of these applications could be built into the device itself in the future and could be something that is put into the ASIC itself."
He later added: "If there is more CPU-oriented technology coming in, we can do prototypes in modules. There are a plethora of things out there that require a network processor."
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