Hewlett Packards ProCurve Networking unit on Jan. 30 attempted to move out of the networking trenches and into the IT executive ranks when it outlined its Adaptive Networking vision.
The launch is intended to describe for IT executives and chief financial officers the business benefits of ProCurve Networkings strategic direction in helping to ensure the networking infrastructure will be there to support more mission critical business applications.
"We want to help IT managers, end users and business managers understand how to turn their networking investment into a competitive asset for the company," described Mark Thompson, director of global sales and marketing at ProCurve Networking, in Roseville, Calif. "To do that we need to deliver enhanced security, increased productivity of their company as a whole and reduced complexity."
The vision builds on the Adaptive Edge architecture ProCurve launched four years ago that implements and automates the execution of more advanced services such as security and Quality of Service at the edge of campus networks.
The Adaptive Network vision calls for the enterprise network to be adaptive for users, applications and the organization as a whole. For users that means the network has to know who the user is and what device theyre using to access the network. It can then customize the view of resources and functions that are authorized for that user. It provides the same experience to the user, whether they are accessing the network from the office or from a remote site or whether they are accessing it via a wired or wireless link.
For applications, adaptive means that embedded network intelligence allows for simplified integration of voice and video over IP, Web-based and collaborative applications while automatically assigning each application the appropriate quality of service level and automatically applying the right level of security. For organizations, adaptive means allowing the network to change efficiently to meet new business requirements while reducing the overhead of day-to-day network management by automating more of the ongoing network operations tasks.
"Organizations cant allow the IT environment to be bottleneck to a business strategy. They need to focus on whats competitive and the network infrastructure has to facilitate that strategy and not be a barrier to it—and do it at the right cost," said Thompson. Thompson was quick to point out that existing ProCurve networking products address this vision, but the HP networking unit will also launch additional products in the coming months that deliver more functionality to back up the vision.
In the meantime, the emphasis with the vision now is on reaching higher-level IT decision makers by addressing their concerns.
"Were trying to do a better job of communicating with the CIOs, CFOs and the IT directors. They dont care about the price/performance ratios of [Gigabit Ethernet] versus 10 [Gigabit Ethernet]. They care about how we keep their business running as they put more investments on top of the network," asserted Thompson.