Hewlett-Packard (HP) ProCurve bolstered its growing networking range by launching four new security-centric products and upgrades last week.
The vendor claimed its latest hardware and software products, aimed at the enterprise and higher-end medium-sized companies, reduce network and business complexity, increase performance and security, and allow end-users to get more from their networks.
Based on the Adaptive Edge Architecture strategy, the products include the Routing Switch 9400sl series, the ProCurve Manager 2.0 and ProCurve Manager Plus 2.0, free software enhancements for the ProCurve
5300xl switchfamily and software updates for the ProCurve Wireless Access Point (WAP) 420 series.
The first product, the Routing Switch 9400sl series, features high-density, secure and multiplayer switching and routing, and is geared to helping HP gain traction against arch rival in the networking sector Cisco.
Jon Weatherall, UK and Ireland country manager at ProCurve, said: “The product will help the channel get more involved with higher-end sales. Channel partners are asking us for more technologically capable products so they can offer a really credible alternative to Cisco.”
The second product, the ProCurve Manager 2.0 and Manager Plus 2.0, consists of upgraded network management software that aims to give end-users more control over network and traffic management. Weatherall said the channel can maximise margin on the software by offering firms “a real insight into their network and how it is performing”.
Third is the 5300 software release. It increases the security aspect of the xl switch family and features a control-listing functionality and virus-throttling technology.
Finally, the WAP 420 series free software conforms to the IEEE 802.11i, Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) and WPA 2 standards, and
provides end-users with quality-of-service support for applications such as wireless Voice over IP.
It can also discriminate between guests and employees logging onto a company network, giving them all different access but from the same access point.
“From a reseller point of view, wireless is a very hot technology. It is something that a lot of end-users are still deploying, which means they are looking for the right levels of security encryption and authentication,” Weatherall said.
“It seems like we have launched a lot of products at once, but sometimes we prefer to wait for a number of products to come out at the same time and group them together. Otherwise, we would be releasing a new product every other week.”
Keith Humphreys, managing consultant at analyst EuroLAN, said HP ProCurve will always remain a “niche network division of HP”.
“HP and Cisco know each other as major rivals. Security has always been an important aspect of networking products for them both,” he added.
Humphreys said HP is a stronger player in the mid-market where it is seeing increasing demand.
“If you consider firms choosing to use HP for servers, printers and storage, it makes sense that they would connect them using HP ProCurve products. I can’t see ProCurve rivalling Cisco overall. It will always remain a niche networking division of HP, but it is certainly competition to Cisco in the switching and routing space,” he said.
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