HP Throws a ProCurve at Cisco Customers

HP is expected to unveil a new line of stackable
switching products this week in an attempt to maintain its No. 2 position
behind Cisco. But the market leader reportedly has a few tricks up its
own sleeve.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based computer and printer maker is introducing
its new ProCurve lineup at an industry event Thursday with nine new SKUs,
including two out this week, four due in December and the remaining
expected in the spring of 2005.

The products build on HP’s ProCurve
Adaptive EDGE architecture and have already caught the eye of customers,
such as Oregon State University, which participated in early testing

Louise Bishop, a marketing manager at HP, told internetnews.com
the new switches are also designed to future-proof networks by bringing
Gigabit and 10-Gigabit Ethernet to the network edge.

“The large majority of desktops and laptops already support Gigabit
connectivity, so network users are poised to take advantage of Gigabit,”
Bishop said. “Because of the high cost and complexity of implementing
Gigabit, some enterprises hold off, resulting in network bottlenecks
that impede their ability to quickly deliver the increasingly large data
traffic demanded by users.”

The company said it has a growing lead over network edge equipment
and switch manufacturers like Nortel, Foundry and 3Com, but it has its
eyes on diluting Cisco’s more than 60 percent market share. The company
compares its 3400cl offerings to Cisco Catalyst 3750G-16TD-S, which
costs $19,995 but only comes with 16 ports. HP said its switches are
also comparable to 3Com’s 3870 and Foundry’s X424.

To do that, HP’s ProCurve division is offering two port densities.
The ProCurve Switch 3400cl series is comprised of 24- and 48-port 10/100/1000
intelligent EDGE stackable switches.

The ProCurve Switch 3400cl-24G
($3,759) features 20 ports offering 10/100/1000 RJ-45 connectivity
and four dual-personality ports with 10/100/1000 RJ-45 or optional
Gigabit mini-GBIC slots.

The ProCurve Switch 3400cl-48G
($6,899) features 44 ports with 10/100/1000 RJ-45 connectivity and
four dual-personality ports like its 24-port sibling.

The switches offer full Layer 3 and 4 routing features, RPS (RPS
600) support, resiliency features for high-availability applications and
one module slot for optional 10-GbE modules.

Security features in the new Gigabit products include port-based
access control lists, Web-based authentication, MAC lockout/MAC
lockdown, as well as support for SSL, SSHv2, Secure FTP and SNMPv3. Convergence
features include Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP), Class of Service
(CoS) support for DSCP, IP-Type of Service (IP TOS), TDP/UDP, IP Address
and L3 protocol, as well as Traffic Prioritization in the form of 802.1p
classification and Layer 4 prioritization.

Because no piece of equipment works in a vacuum, HP is recommending
the new 3400cl switches in a few configurations.

For example, the
company said system integrators assembling high-performance wiring
closets could pair the 3400cl with HP’s 9300 series servers and
individual 10Gig uplinks. The switches can be used with 5300 series and
Gigabit optical trunks with low-cost Gigabit uplinks.

The units can
also be used with HP’s 9300 series servers and dual 10Gb uplinks for
high-availability solution and single 10Gb uplink with a dual 10Gb
uplink with spanning tree and CX4 10Gb daisy chained 3400s for
flexible stacking and high-density closets.

HP said its next phase is delivering two new 10-GbE Modules, a 10-GbE
X2-CX4 Transceiver and a 10-GbE X2-SC LR Optic next month.

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