Will HP's 'Single Pane of Glass' Close Windows for Cisco?

By Tim Scannell | May 19, 2006 | Print this Page
http://www.enterprisenetworkingplanet.com/netsysm/article.php/3607726/Will-HPs-Single-Pane-of-Glass-Close-Windows-for-Cisco.htm

HP extended its ProCurve networking family by adding unified access control and management across wired and wireless systems.

The ProCurve Wireless Edge Services xl Module adds integrated wireless services to the ProCurve Switch 5300xl Series products, including centrally managed security access control policies and configuration details.

The company also introduced a new series of dual-radio access points that work with the Wireless Edge Services network management capabilities and provide for highly granular and flexible security, added HP.

The Access Point 530 devices include built-in Radius service to keep a remote site up and running in the event of a failure elsewhere on the network.

"These mobility solutions offer security, convergence and a high-availability interconnect fabric that provides a unified way of managing networks from a policy and device management standpoint," said Darla Sommerville, vice president and general manager of HP's ProCurve Americas group.

"They bring a robust and consistent set of tools that provide a 'single pane of glass' approach to network management," she added.

The Wireless Edge Services Module is available now, while the Access Point 530 hits the streets next month.

HP's single-pane of glass strategy may provide a competitive edge against companies such as Cisco.

"Not many WLAN providers can offer physical and logically integrated wired and wireless management," Ellen Daley, vice president and research director for Forrester Research, told internetnews.com. "This gives HP an advantage to sell against Cisco.

"I think the first customers will be existing ProCurve customers."

HP agreed. ProCurve customers expressed concern over the security of both wired and wireless networks, as well as the ability to easily deploy multiple policies across both environments.

They also want to drive such things as identity management out to the very edge of networks, rather than reroute authentication and policy traffic back to the core network.

HP hopes enterprise users will view the swap-in, swap-out and edge-based capabilities of the networking module as a plus, as it moves into high-bandwidth applications like voice over IP.

"Dynamic channel management and redundancy are important as voice becomes more prominent in the industry," said Andre Kindness, product manager of ProCurve Americas.

A unified management structure across both wired and wireless networks can also appeal to specific industry segments, such as health care, he added.

"There is a real cost savings and a real security aspect to keeping everything under one umbrella and keeping everything within a single pane of glass," said Kindness. "Other vendors coming in may not be able to meet that demand in the highly regulated world we're getting into."

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