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HP ProCurve sets out its stall for 2005

HP will look to further its Adaptive Edge strategy in 2005, with the release of new core switches built specially for distributed architectures.

HP will look to further its Adaptive Edge strategy in 2005, with the release of new core switches built specially for distributed architectures. At a Dubai briefing today, HP announced it plans to leverage the recent Riverstone acquisition to achieve this. The new core switches are expected to be available in Q205.

“We will develop our Adaptive Edge architecture in 2005, with the use of technology bought from Riverstone, to create a new range of core switches that are designed to fit in with the adaptive edge ethos. We have core devices at the moment but these will be built especially for the Edge infrastructure,” says Yasser Helmy, business development manager HP Procurve.

“These devices will be simple cores with high speed and high availability. We can afford to make them simple because intelligence will be distributed to the edge switches,” he adds.

HP projects that the Adaptive Edge infrastructure can result in 30% savings compared to core-centric implementations. The logic is that edge-centric are more adaptable and can be upgraded faster and cheaper by buying less expensive edge devices, rather than refreshing or adding more expensive core devices.

Another element of HP’s Adaptive Edge infrastructure is identity driven management (IDM). This is an application that assigns privileges to users entering the network. It is centrally managed but policies are put into effect at the edge of the network.

IDM is a proprietary application and will not work, at least initially, with other vendor’s products. This could potentially create a manageability problem for end users with a heterogeneous network, with different applications setting rules for different devices in the network.

This will cause confusion among end users and could counteract the good work that HP has done on the protocol side by ensuring that its products are standards compliant.

In terms of overall business, HP ProCurve claims that IDC, Gartner and Dell ‘Oro figures point to the brand being the second biggest in LAN ports sold worldwide behind Cisco.

“We take products that are surrounded by mystique and make them easier for people to use. This involves lowering prices and helping with integration. For example, compliance to standards is key for us,” says Ivan Kraemer, regional sales & marketing director HP ProCurve.

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