HP Flexes Data Center Muscle with New SwitchBy Charlene O'Hanlon | Posted 2009-01-26 Email Print
HP is releasing its first-ever line of devices designed specificially to make data center connectivity far easier and more efficient.
Hewlett-Packard ProCurve is extended its adaptive network mantra into the data center with its first-ever line of switching platforms designed for the data center environment.
"ProCurve is certainly no stranger to the data center environment – it has been deployed in data centers in the past," said Matt Zanner, worldwide director of Data Center Networking for ProCurve. "This is the first attempt at getting our hands on products to optimize data center capabilities."
The 6600 series consists of five top-of-rack server edge switches featuring the same firmware as the ProCurve 5400 and 8200 series switches to enable seamless connectivity. "These are leveraging same underlying architecture as rest of Intelligent Edge products," Zanner said.
In addition, the switches feature front to back, reversible airflow that helps keep them cooler and reduces energy consumption.
ProCurve also is rolling out the Data Center Connection Manager, a management tool that reduces complexity at the management layer, according to the company.
"This allows for network connections to be applied in an automated and easy-to-manage fashion," Zanner noted. "Administration teams, both server and network, will now be able to work together in a seamless fashion. It’s about furthering business operations."
The tool formalizes common data center workflow activities without organizational disruption and reduces compliance and troubleshooting. It works with any data center environment, no matter what vendor, according to the company.
"We have extended ProCurve line in an area that it hasn’t really been optimized in the past," Zanner said. "This creates new business opportunities – ProCurve wasn’t really on a customer’s short list before now because we didn’t have the capabilities."
Not content to expand its hardware offerings, ProCurve also expanded its Open Network Ecosystem (ONE) to include the applications of 17 new alliance partners, from IP telephony to network management.
"ProCurve ONE is a program to aid how applications can be delivered to a customer with regards to networking infrastructure," Zanner said. "Application proliferation is affecting environments – creates a lot of added complexities through servers and solution stacks."
ProCurve ONE enables users to integrate network applications and services from alliance partners that integrate directly with the HP ProCurve ONE Services zl Module, an HP blade for the HP ProCurve Switch 5400zl and 8200zl series that consolidates the applications onto one platform.
"The takeaway is that HP ProCurve has the ability to attract the leaders in a given application space to participate, coupled with ability to host that application with ProCurve network infrastructure," Zanner said.
Alliance partners include Microsoft, McAfee, Riverbed, F5 and Avaya – "Basically a who’s who list of best-in-class providers in their space," he added.
Zanner noted that channel partners for HP and the alliance partners can sell ProCurve, opening new avenues for revenue.
"This takes advantage of existing service provider’s channel and the HP channel. It’s a clear opportunity for an F5 channel partner who’s not versed in ProCurve to sell the product and vice-versa. We have taken the complexity out of the environment and made a lot easier for channel partner to extend their reach," he said.