HP is growing its FlexNetwork architecture as it looks to expand its competition with networking market leader Cisco.
Hewlett-Packard officials are
continuing to build the company's networking business as it looks to chip away
at Cisco Systems' leading market share.
HP made itself into Cisco Systems' top
competitor in the enterprise networking space when it bought rival 3Com last
year, and made its most significant move in May with the rollout of its FlexNetwork architecture, designed
to create a single networking platform that runs from the data center to the
campus to remote workers.
Now HP is building out the FlexNetwork
strategy with new products and services that are aimed at helping businesses
deal with rapidly growing trends that are putting greater pressure on
enterprise networks, including virtualized infrastructures, multimedia
applications, the consumerization of IT and the migration to new platforms,
such as 10 Gigabit Ethernet and IPv6.
The tech vendor introduced the new
offerings Oct. 5 at the Interop New York show, a day after it announced that
Bethany Mayer is the new senior vice president and general manager of the HP
Networking unit, replacing Marius Haas, one of several executives who left HP
after Leo Apotheker was named CEO late last year. Mayer had been interim head
of HP Networking for the past several months.
Among the new offerings from HP are the
10GbE 5900 top-of-rack switch and updated 12500 switch series that officials
said enhance server-to-server traffic by as much as 80 percent. The improved
12500 also doubles the scalability over the previous version and will improve
virtual machine performance, according to Mike Nielsen, director of solutions
marketing for HP Networking. It's also fully IPv6-ready.
HP also is offering its new HP
FlexCampus solutions, a move that will continue HP's efforts to collapse the
number of tiers in an enterprise's network and can lead to as much as 50
percent networking cost reductions, Nielsen said in an interview with eWEEK. Among the FlexCampus offerings are
the new 3800 stackable switches, which offer up to 450 percent higher
performance, and a new reference architecture for campuses that brings together
wired and wireless networks.
In addition, HP grew its portfolio of
FlexBranch offerings to include new virtualized service modules with
technologies from virtualization vendors VMware and Citrix Systems. The
offerings, which will help speed the delivery of applications to branch offices
and cut costs by up to 21 percent, will appear later in the fourth quarter and
in early 2012, Nielsen said.
HP also is offering integrated mobile
network access control in its Intelligent Management Center 5.1 software,
making it easier for enterprises to access mobile devices and protect the
corporate network from threats from mobile devices.
This is important given the growing BYOD (bring your own devices) trend. The
practice of businesses giving corporate-issued mobile devices to employees with
which to access corporate applications and data is changing into one where
employees are bringing in their own devices-particularly smartphones and
tablets-and demanding network access. Such situations save enterprises money on
upfront capital expenses, but puts pressure on IT staffs to figure out how to
manage such devices and protect the corporate network.