HP ProCurve Fills Out Adaptive Edge Strategy

Two-tiered architecture moves more network intelligence to the edge of the network and eliminates a middle tier of distribution switches.

Hewlett Packard Co.s ProCurve Networking unit on Monday continued to fill in its Adaptive Edge Architecture strategy with the launch of its new ProCurve InterConnect Fabric Switch 8100fl, along with new security and mobile management products and a new Power over Ethernet switch.

The new 8100fl line, based on the Riverstone Networks technology HP acquired last year, is an interconnect fabric switch family that emphasizes high performance, high availability and simpler, automated configuration. ProCurves two-tiered Adaptive Edge architecture moves more network intelligence to the edge of the network and eliminates a middle tier of distribution switches, connecting to a high-performance, multi-service core.

The Layer 3/Layer 4 ProCurve Interconnect Fabric Switch 8100fl, which includes a 16- and an 8-slot chassis, uses redundant management modules designed for hitless failover. Each I/O module, which includes Gigabit or 10 Gigabit options, runs its own operating system, allowing traffic to continue moving through the switch in the event that a management module fails. The 16-slot chassis can accommodate up to 16 10 Gigabit or 160 Gigabit ports, and the 8-slot chassis can handle up to eight 10 Gigabit or 80 Gigabit ports.

Beta users at Oregon State Universitys College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences found the switch to be "rock solid," according to Chuck Sears, manager of research computing in Corvallis, Ore.

"Because of the fault tolerance with each fabric piece running its own OS, we can build in interesting classes of business logic. I think thats where you get to the intelligent enterprise. Were moving tons of data across the 10 Gigabit fabric, and we havent seen any failures," he said.

The Adaptive Edge architecture fits the changes that the college has seen in its own computing architecture, as vast amounts of data are now being processed at the edge of the network, rather than the core, according to Sears.

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"The ubiquitousness of smart sensors and devices has really changed our business landscape, and the way we designed our ecosystem is no longer valid. All the shaking and moving is out on the edges. Its no longer in the core. The adaptive edge philosophy—how to deal with authentication, directory services, how to validate data flows—now that is all coming in at the edges," he said.

The ProCurve Networking unit also filled in the strategy with a new and an enhanced plug-in module for its ProCurve Manager Plus software. The enhanced ProCurve Identity Driven Manager 2.0 (IDM 2.0) plug-in adds support for the Trusted Computing Groups Trusted Network Connect architecture to allow users to choose any antivirus or personal firewall client that works with the architecture. It also adds dynamic Access Control List (ACL) configuration and simplifies deployment.

The new ProCurve Mobility Manager 1.0 plug-in adds centralized configuration, monitoring and troubleshooting for ProCurve wireless LAN devices.

For small workgroups, remote offices or widespread deployment of wireless LANs, ProCurve Networking added the new ProCurve Switch 2600-8-PWR. It can support Wireless Access Points as well as IP Phones in a stackable Power-over-Ethernet switch. It has eight auto-sensing 10/100 PoE ports and a dual-personality Gigabit Uplink.

ProCurve Networking officials believe that HPs adaptive edge architecture is resonating for customers, according to Darla Sommerville, vice president and general manager of ProCurve Networking in Roseville, Calif. "Were seeing the intelligent edge being deployed where customers need those new, converged applications. This gives them a highly available and simpler way to connect that edge," she said.

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