HP takes ProCurve to branch offices

HP will push ProCurve beyond the LAN in April when it launches models for wide area networking

HP is taking its Procurve networking line of network routers out to branch offices with the addition of wide area network (WAN) capabilities.

Jon Wetherall, HP's ProCurve country manager for the UK and Ireland, said the decision to extend ProCurve beyond the local area network to WANs was taken in response to customer demand.

The ProCurve Secure Router 7000dl series, due in April, will connect enterprise branch offices to a headquarter site, said HP. The routers include a stateful firewall, meaning that it keeps track of entire conversations between machines instead of just looking at each packet in isolation. Stateful firewalls are used to help detect and prevent denial of service attacks. The 7000dl series also supports what are called 802.1X supplicants -- or wireless networking clients -- that can be authenticated relatively easily using the Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP), and its optional IPSec VPN termination will allow remote users to connect to their corporate office over the Internet.

Other features useful for a branch office include a compact flash port so boot configuration and image files can be installed with little knowledge of Procurve network routers.

The first two products to be introduced as part of ProCurve’s WAN portfolio will be the 7102dl and 7203dl routers, which will have list prices of €1,272 and €2,548 respectively. The 7102dl router includes two slots to support modular WAN interface cards and is designed to support up to four T1/E1 connections. The 7203dl router includes two slots and one wide slot to support modular WAN interface cards and is designed to support up to 12 T1/E1 connections. HP is pitching the 7102dl against Cisco's 1700 and 1800 range, and the 7203dl against Cisco's 2600 and 2800 range.

Wetherall said the routers will be backed up by free software updates, lifetime warranties and next business day replacements, and that the range will be expanded. "You will see more WAN routers later this year," said Wetherall. "Your can expect to see us move both upscale and downscale, but not into the big telco router market."

HP also plans to launch an Access Controller Module in April to fit into the 5300 chassis switch. This update of the standalone 720 Access Controller increases the number of access points that hang from one chassis to "hundreds", said Wetherall.

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