HP buys Riverstone’s XGS equipment and software

HP has announced its intention to compete with Cisco in the wide area network (WAN) router space following the acquisition of XGS equipment and associated software from Riverstone Networks.

  • E-Mail
By  Simon Duddy Published  June 29, 2004

|~|hp-switch_m.jpg|~|PRODUCT ROLL-OUT: HP has boosted it ProCurve line-up with a range of products including the ProCurve Switch xl 10/100-TX PoE power over Ethernet module that works with the ProCurve Switch 5300xl series.|~|HP has announced its intention to compete with Cisco in the wide area network (WAN) router space following the acquisition of XGS equipment and associated software from Riverstone Networks. As part of the $28 million deal HP will take on former Riverstone staff, develop the technology and incorporate it into its products. The XGS platform was the industry’s first to provide true wire speed 10-gigabit performance, according to Riverstone. “We intend to utilise the technology to bolster our adaptive edge technology and help us to get more products in the high end of the enterprise space,” says Ivan Kraemer, sales and marketing director, ProCurve Networking Business, ISE. It will take time for the technology to boost HP’s offering to the level it needs to go after Cisco in this space. Riverstone Networks, which will now focus on providing switches for the service provider market. “What you won’t see us do is take products from Riverstone, instead you’ll see HP building the technology into its own range. By the end of the year, we will start seeing HP products with this technology. We won’t necessarily have new products as existing models could be modified to incorporate more diverse features.” HP doesn’t have a presence in the Cisco-dominated WAN router market currently, but the XGS technology could give the company the platform it needs to start competing in this area. This move is sure to change HP’s existing technology-share relationship with Cisco. “We want to be a big player in the networking market and we have to grow. Our goal is to be number one,” says Kraemer. “As we grow and start to challenge Cisco in more areas the relationship will change. In the storage business five years ago our strategic partner was EMC, today we do nothing with EMC except compete. As we get bigger the relationship [with Cisco] will change. We’ve seen it happen with EMC and it’ll happen eventually with Cisco,” he adds. HP is gunning after Cisco in the long term but its short-term target is to be seen as the alternative to Cisco and this means edging out stiff competition from 3Com. “We feel we have a better value offering than 3Com,” says Kraemer. “With HP you get real lifetime warranty and high support levels in the form of care packs. If you take the price of our services, free management software and lifetime warranty into account, you have a total cost of ownership (TCO) that is very competitive in the market,” he adds. HP has unveiled a series of products and invested in a larger dedicated ProCurve team to turn up the heat on 3Com. Among the new products is the ProCurve Switch xl 10/100-TX PoE module, which brings power over Ethernet functionality to the ProCurve Switch 5300xl series and extends ProCurve adaptive edge architecture support for converged applications and devices. HP is also deploying secure switches behind wireless access points. This bolsters the flawed WEP encryption that comes with the devices, while 802.1X and Radius technologies boost the integrity of the authentication process. 3Com is unlikely to give up its strong position in the enterprise networking market without a fight however, “Seeking to enter a market and making claims is quite different from having a core of actual experience and development that has led to a broad portfolio of effective, reliable and diverse networking solutions, which is what we provide to our customers now,” says Tarek Ghoul, manager for the Gulf and Levant at 3Com. “It is flattering that HP would seek to compare themselves with 3Com, we can’t fault them for aiming high,” he adds.||**||

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code