HP ProCurve Acquiring Colubris Networks

The HP ProCurve wireless networking lineup will get a boost as Hewlett-Packard plans to acquire Colubris Networks, which will add new security, management and other networking infrastructure features into the HP ProCurve portfolio. The HP acquisition of Colubris will also allow the company to better compete against Cisco in the networking infrastructure space.

Hewlett-Packard is strengthening its ProCurve Networking portfolio by acquiring Colubris Networks, which will allow HP to expand its networking infrastructure offerings into vertical markets such as healthcare, manufacturing and hospitality.

HP, which is about to close its $13 billion deal for Electronic Data Systems, announced its latest acquisition Aug 11. The financial details were not disclosed although HP plans to close the deal by October.

Colubris-the company was founded in 2000-makes a number of different wireless management and security networking products. Colubris also has expertise with newer 802.11 draft-n wireless standards, and HP is looking to take those offerings and integrate them deeper into its enterprise networking portfolio.

While 802.11 draft-n standards are still under review, these standards are becoming increasingly important in the enterprise as draft-n can provide data rates up to 248 M bits per second compared to 802.11g standards, which offer 54 M bits per second. When Intel showcased its new Centrino 2 platform in July, the chip maker announced that draft-n would be standard with the updated mobile platform, which means users and customers will begin demanding better access to the newer draft-n standard.

"We will be one of the only vendors to provide wired and wireless solutions that integrated end-to-end to our customers, so that is a key part," said Marius Hass, the senior vice president and general manager of HP ProCurve. "With this acquisition, we have extended our capabilities in the WLAN [wireless LAN] space to include 802.11n and that will be a big part of that portfolio. It also helps us augment the solutions that we are already providing in the market today."

The acquisition also gives HP another tool to compete against Cisco in the wireless networking market. Hass believes the market for enterprise WLAN technology is worth about $1.2 billion right now and that it will grow at a rate of about 25 percent every year. While security is always a concern when it comes to newer wireless networks, Hass said HP is starting to see some enterprises, including large financial institutions, ready to begin adopting 802.11 draft-n standards.

The acquisition also gives HP ProCurve access to Colubris' customers, which will help HP expand its own footprint in the networking market. For example, Colubris provides wireless technology for hotel chains such as Hilton and Marriot.