HP targets regional opportunities

HP is continuing to reinforce its product portfolio in order to deliver the three principles of its Networking Adaptive Edge Architecture strategy — security, mobility and convergence.

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By  Anna Karhammar Published  January 8, 2004

|~|lada2.jpg|~|Wenceslao Lada, PNB general manager Europe.|~|HP is continuing to reinforce its product portfolio in order to deliver the three principles of its Networking Adaptive Edge Architecture strategy — security, mobility and convergence. Most recently, the vendor introduced the ProCurve Switch 2650-PWR and 2626-PWR models, which are designed to facilitate the use of devices on the network. The switches, based around Power over Ethernet (PoE), fulfil the security element by incorporating 802.1x and RADIUS protocols, as well as the convergence aspect through the switches’ capability to deliver 360 watts of 48 volts to products, such as wireless access points and IP phones. “We are investing in security protocols and features that are today in all of our products to ensure that users can manage security from the port access all the way to user access and the infrastructure, together with wireless [security],” explains Wenceslao Lada, PNB general manager Europe, ProCurve Networking business, HP. The 2600 series switches, however, represent just the latest part of HP’s plans to deliver advanced security and mobility to users of converged networks. The main aim for the vendor is to decentralise these components to the edge of the infrastructure and closer to the user, where HP believes they will be most effective. Equally, it intends to deliver all of these qualities at a price that is cost effective and affordable for the user. “We believe that although the core products need to be robust and handle a lot of the network transactions, all these things like security, mobility and seamless use of the technology should happen at the edge. To do that you need products covering these areas — security, mobility and quality of service (QoS) — but at a reasonable price,” says Lada. “That’s why part of our R&D and investment has been aimed at building products that are able to sustain the [network] infrastructure and the complexity in communication, but at a very affordable price,” he adds. While the dispensation of features to the edge of the network may suggest greater complexity or management headaches for network administrators, HP is tackling this with its ‘command from the centre’ software. The solution will allow network managers to centrally define security policies, access controls and other features before dispatching them out to the network edge. “Administrators will be able to set the requirements for their infrastructure [using the software] and then it will be able to decentralise all these priorities in terms of quality of service and so on, and deploy that throughout the whole infrastructure,” explains Lada. “So at any point the IT manager still has 100% control, in fact, the software should go from defining how the products, the hardware and the ports should work to defining the user profile and dynamically applying these definitions to each of the user groups simultaneously,” he continues. Aside from expanding its Adaptive Edge Architecture over the coming year with additional products, HP is also looking to target growth opportunities in markets such as the Middle East. “We would like to continue investing in this region and participating in the good business that is occurring here. We need to evaluate each [local] country and decide our strategy, but definitely this is one of the [geographical] areas where we believe there will be growth for HP and the networking division,” says Lada.||**||

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