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At least since Cisco’s ‘Californication’, when the network giant announced it was entering the data center server market, HP has been busy shoring up its networking portfolio, culminating in this week’s announcement that its data center and network businesses will be closely tied together at some point in the near future. In addition to making it clear that this will be mandatory for its channel partners working in either side of the business, HP also included a ProCurve announcement in the latest additions to its Total Care portfolio.

The HP ProCurve 1810G Switch Series provides affordable gigabit connectivity that can be configured and maintained without a large or specialized staff. It offers customers flexible deployment options such as a fan-less design for silent operation, mounting options for easy deployment in any location and network security capabilities for protection against denial-of-service attacks. The eight-port model also features a Power-over-Ethernet option for connectivity in locations without readily available power sources.

"It’s nice to be a part of the family," said Kristin Pierce, the HP ProCurve worldwide director of SMB solutions. Being folded in with the greater HP company is great news for both customers and partners, she said. "We are doing things to enable our channel to sell a total solution to customers."

At the start of the year Marius Haas, senior vice president and general manager, HP ProCurve, told eChannelLine his group’s total available market is worth $19 billion annually, but that they’re only addressing maybe 25 percent. "I’m looking to generate new coverage. We’ve still got a long way to go. I think the optimal coverage is 70-80 percent of the $19 billion market."

That’s ambitious, but with the group already outperforming the industry, the opportunities should only improve as ProCurve gets more tightly integrated into HP. "We’re growing at anywhere from three to five times the marketplace," said Haas. "I can only imagine what a broader portfolio means."

In April it took its next big step with an expanded security portfolio that will address the firewall and intrusion prevention markets.

"This is in fact the entry into a new market for HP ProCurve," said Mauricio Sanchez, HP ProCurve chief security architect. "We’re doing this the same way, taking the same recipe and applying it to network security." ProCurve’s recipe is about simplicity, he said. "Today from the network security perspective, people are just tired of spending exorbitant amounts for network security, and tired of complexity. We’re providing customers with a new choice that is very affordable."

Now with this week’s announcements, ProCurve is being included in the broader company. Replacing the 1800 series, a Web-managed offering, the 1810G switch series is designed for smaller companies that might have an IT staff and are looking for a plug-and-play solution. The original product has been around since 2006 and has been very successful, said Pierce, but partners and customers had been asking for a number of enhancements, i.e. deployment flexibility, no fans for less noise and PoE so they don’t have to be tied to an electrical outlet.

As for the tie-in to the HP Total Care portfolio, she said the main focus was business risk mitigation. "There are three different reference solutions that address customer needs of risk mitigation: business continuity, risk mitigation, and security breaches." HP is offering three reference solutions for companies with 300, 500 and 1,000 employees, addressing everything from servers, storage, PCs and printers.

"There are also some specific sales tools for channel partners to talk to customers about total solutions," said Pierce.

But the most exciting thing, she added, was ProCurve’s greater integration with HP. "HP is investing in networking very clearly. HP is uniquely positioned for SMB customers to provide all of the pieces that they need."

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