Channel Insider content and product recommendations are editorially independent. We may make money when you click on links to our partners. Learn More.

HP has announced a major expansion of its networking portfolio with new HP ProCurve offerings integrated with HP BladeSystem infrastructure solutions. The converged solutions will allow customers to increase performance, security and management of both physical and virtual environments. They also represent the next generation of the HP Adaptive Infrastructure Maturity Model (AIMM).

"This signals a pretty significant move forward for us on two fronts," said HP’s Dave Frederickson, Vice President of the Enterprise Server and Storage Organization. "It is the next evolution of our adaptive infrastructure. And it signals to our customers and our channel the strategic importance of our ProCurve portfolio into our total solution for our customers." He also said it was a logical extension of their offerings, and not a defensive move against Cisco, or any other competitor.

The main focus is on data center customers, but Frederickson said it goes beyond that, and there will be a strong role for the channel.

"We are primarily talking about large and enterprise customers, in terms of the adaptive infrastructure and our overall strategy, but we are finding that because of virtualization, many midmarket and even some SMB customers are implementing these kinds of solutions."

The partner-focused initiative announced in both the U.S. and Canada with these solutions — AIMM Express — is data center focused, Frederickson said.

"Qualified HP partners will work with customers on data center evaluations," he said, with the idea being that they develop a preliminary data center evaluation, recommend products and services, and establish a strategic dialogue with customers that facilitates a purchase decision. "We are right now going out to try and evaluate partners. Initially it will be with partners we are now working with, building out data center solutions for customers. Once we have a solid footing there, we will look at whether it makes sense to roll it out to a broader audience."

This gives partners an opportunity to increase their visibility for data center solutions, and making sure they have the right technical abilities," he added. "Partners who haven’t been selling ProCurve will now have this opportunity, which is richer from a margin prospective."

Still, Frederickson experts there will be opportunities in the mid-market space, and even some in the SMB.

"There are short-term opportunities for partners outside the data center," he said." Both VMware solutions and blade solutions have penetrated down into the midmarket. There are partners who will be able to offer these new solutions in the midmarket space."

The new offerings include the HP ProCurve 6120 series designed to leverage the HP BladeSystem infrastructure, and an expansion of the HP ProCurve 8200 and 5400 Ethernet switch portfolio. Also included in the announcement is a firmware upgrade to HP Virtual Connect that allows users to change bandwidth on the fly to respond to fluctuations in application requirements.

The 10Gb HP ProCurve 6120XG Blade Switch is designed to meet the demands of virtual machines and high-performance applications. When combined with the HP ProCurve Data Center Connection Manager, the switch delivers automated network connection management and provisioning. Engineered with emerging network standards in mind, it is Converged Enhanced Ethernet (CEE) ready, enabling integration of Ethernet and Fibre Channel networks in the future.

"This switch technology is what makes the convergence," said Cory Copping, product manager for the networking division at HP. "We didn’t have the products that fit before this switch technology, built right for the blade server."

The connectivity and design options for the ProCurve 8200 and 5400 switch families have also been extended. Customers with unified communications and video surveillance can use high-capacity Power over Ethernet (PoE+) to reduce costs while lowering power consumption. The new offerings also expand HP ProCurve’s unified networking approach by using common architecture, security and management tools across the portfolio.

To read more eChannelline headlines, click here.