HP's networking division had a particularly strong third quarter that saw it comfortably outstrip rivals 3Com, and even market leader Cisco, to consolidate its hold on second place in the market for managed network ports.
The latest report from the network market research group, Dell'Oro, showed that ProCurve had better growth in revenue, ports and Power over Ethernet (PoE) than its two competitors in the third quarter of 2006.
ProCurve grew its revenue share by 15.5 percent, quarter-over-quarter, and increased its overall port shipments by 20.4 percent sequentially. Both figures represented the higher growth rates for the respective areas.
Figures for the overall market growth showed that ProCurve had increased by 34.7 percent, against Cisco's growth of 16.5 percent in the same quarter. 3Com saw growth of only around 3 percent, as did Foundry, while other players saw growth stagnate.
ProCurve's progress in the last two years has been sporadic occasionally, but overall has impressed. Two years ago it was virtually tied with 3Com for second place, way behind Cisco, but since then it has gradually extended its lead over 3Com a little.
ProCurve had 16 percent of the market at the end of the third quarter, with 3Com sitting at around 13 percent.
According to ProCurve's vice president and general manager, John McHugh, the figures are "validation that the market recognises ProCurve's commitment to providing networks that enhance security, increase productivity and reduce complexity".
The company appears to be enjoying the fruits of an innovative strategy that HP has been prepared to invest in over the last two years. In August the company launched five new Layer 2, stackable Ethernet switches onto the market.
At the same time it announced a new policy for guarantees on its switches in which "life means life". In the event that a switch fails because of a physical failure, ProCurve will fix or replace the switch, regardless of its age or condition, the company says. In the event that the switch is not available any more, the company says it will replace it with an equivalent or better switch of the same configuration.