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Hewlett-Packard’s ProCurve networking division on Monday took a swipe at rival Cisco with the rollout of four new 10/100-based switches touted to simplify overall management from core to the edge.

The new offerings reside in HP ProCurve’s 3500 family of form-factor switches, accommodating customers with 10/100 Ethernet networks, while providing them with the benefits of a single software platform from which to manage every tier of switch in their network, core to edge, according to Sreeram Krishnamachari, HP ProCurve technical product marketing manager.

“Even though the industry is moving to Gigabit Ethernet, there is still a big installed base for 10/100,” Krishnamachari said. “But these customers, despite the difference in throughput, want the same software and security as enterprise-class. They want the management features, but not the Gigabit throughput in all deployments.”

Krishnamachari pointed to the unified software management platform – one console to manage and monitor ProCurve switches from edge of network to the core – as a differentiator to Cisco’s 10/100 family of 3560 switches. The 3500 switches from ProCurve can also be deployed in heterogeneous environments, he added.

HP ProCurve’s got a long way to go to eat away at marketshare, however it has made headway. Based on IDC numbers for the first quarter 2009, HP has amassed a market share of 5.2 percent for the total worldwide Ethernet switch market, compared to Cisco’s 69 percent. Nearly all of the other companies in the space were below 4 percent share.

The 3500 switches, available July 1, include 24- or 48-port options, as well as Power over Ethernet (PoE) or non-PoE versions. The switches range in price from $2,449 to $5, 299.