HP Closes 3Com Deal, Takes Aim at Cisco

HP has completed its $2.7 billion deal for 3Com, a move that will expand its ProCurve data center networking portfolio and allow it to better compete in the converged data center space against rivals such as Cisco, IBM and Dell.

Hewlett-Packard has completed its $2.7 billion acquisition of networking vendor 3Com, giving the company more ammunition in its growing data center competition with Cisco Systems.

3Com will be integrated into HP's ProCurve networking business, and an integration road map will be rolled out at a later date, HP officials said in a statement released April 12.

Bringing 3Com into the fold gives HP some new capabilities, such as the core data center switches that were missing from its ProCurve business, as well as an expanded Ethernet switching portfolio. In addition, HP gets more traction in the rapidly expanding China market, and grows its network securities capabilities through 3Com's TippingPoint business.

Click here to see what HP gets from 3Com.

HP officials said the 3Com deal is a key part of their converged data center strategy, which is aimed at creating greater integration between servers, storage devices, networking, management, facilities and services.

The move comes at a of change in the data center space, where HP and Cisco, as well as other vendors, including Dell and IBM, are looking to offer businesses more tightly integrated solutions.

Cisco entered the server business in 2009 with the introduction of its UCS (Unified Computing System) all-in-one offering, which included its own servers and networking technology, as well as products from such partners and VMware and EMC.

Cisco on April 6 launched the latest enhancements to its UCS and data center strategy, including new servers, switches.

HP also is looking to offer more tightly integrated offerings through its broad portfolio of products, including its newly expanded networking technologies.

Dell and IBM also are pushing their own respective converged data center strategies, relying greatly on partnerships that they say gives enterprises a wider range of options that those of Cisco and HP.

The same day that Cisco upgraded its data center strategy, Dell officials touted differentiators between their initiative and that of Cisco.

"Today's announcement by Cisco demonstrates the bifurcation in the market with some vendors pushing a closed and propriety approach to the data center and Dell's differentiated approach of delivering choice and solutions that are open, capable and affordable," Forrest Norrod, Dell's vice president and general manager for server platforms, said in a statement emailed to eWEEK. "We've heard loud and clear customers are looking to reap the benefits of virtualization and reduce datacenter complexity, but not at the expense of handing their infrastructure over to a single vendor as Cisco is asking them to do."