HP Enterprise Ethernet Switch Buyer's Guide.

With the worldwide Ethernet switch market recovering, HP is poised to take advantage with a broad, deep switching portfolio.

 By Drew Robb
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According to IDC, the worldwide Ethernet switch market is recovering nicely. It experienced 28.1 percent growth compared to 2009. That adds up to revenues of $5.35 billion in the fourth quarter alone, and $21.1 billion for 2010 as a whole. IDC expects to see moderate growth in 2011.

"The fourth quarter was a moderately good quarter as a follow on to three quarters of better than 30% growth in the Ethernet switch market," said IDC analyst Rohit Mehra.

While Cisco rules the market, HP is a respectable number two in enterprise switches, according to Dell'Oro Group. HP believes that a steady evolution is occurring with the field of enterprise switching, and that it has undergone three major shifts in recent years. In the beginning, switches were used for basic connectivity and file sharing. Then the advent of Ethernet allowed for a more common approach to switching.

"Networking's alignment with IT and business infrastructure is critical to enterprise success," said Joseph Vukson, Manager Solutions Marketing, HP Networking. "Enterprise switching is now undergoing a third shift with the goal of creating an interconnected network that is aligned very closely with the complete IT infrastructure."

In accordance with this, HP Networking offers a broad switching portfolio. That encompasses core to edge to branch/remote worker switching, basic Layer 2 up through dynamic Layer 3 routing capabilities and beyond. This includes a full feature set across modular and fixed stackable form factors.

"The HP Networking portfolio begins at the solution level with data center networking, LAN switching, and branch office connectivity," said Vukson. "Products with enterprise routing, security, mobility and unified communications capabilities are also available."

He said that the company is committed to open standards and its Converged Infrastructure concept. The idea behind the Convergence Infrastructure is that networking, server and storage is run within one platform for ease of management, lower overall costs and a lot less cabling.

Featured HP Switches

According to Vukson, there are three main product categories that currently exist in the enterprise switching market: data center, campus LAN and branch office. HP supplies products in each category:

HP Data Center Switches

In the HP data center switch category, he called attention to the HP A12500. It is suitable for the network core or the data center. It includes Intelligent Resilient Framework (IRF) technology for high performance and high availability, as well as energy-efficiency features. There are two models within this series: the A12518 provides 6.66 Tbps and 2160 Mpps, and supports up to 512 10-GbE (Gigabit Ethernet) per rack. The A12508 (3.06 Tbps, and 960 Mpps) supports up to 256 10-GbE. Both make use of sFlow network monitoring technology to gather a wide range of network stats, as well as capacity planning information.

This article was originally published on Mar 12, 2011
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