HP and Cisco both announced on Monday they are trying to boost their market share in networking through new security products and services.
Cisco currently has the largest market share for network switches, with HP's ProCurve division in second place, according to a recent ProCurve survey.
Procurve said on Monday that its latest range of network switches will offer more security features. ProCurve claims the 5400 and 3500 series of network switches, which will ship later this year, will help it to retain its number two position in the market. ProCurve is aiming to push its global market share from 17 to 25 percent by the end of this year.
"We expect the 5400 and 3500 series will fuel our continued industry leadership," said Wenceslao Lada, vice-president and general manager for ProCurve Networking in Europe.
To expand its market share, ProCurve will have to meet "the evolving needs of security, mobility and convergence applications", said Lada.
The security features in the 5400 and 3500 switches will include real-time in-depth packet analysis, and will allow network administrators to enforce policy through "control of access and traffic flow", according to ProCurve.
HP says the switches will also provide protection against external attacks, such as denial of service attempts.
Instead of centralised core routing, ProCurve uses a system that is similar to that used by telecoms operators, with "intelligent" switches at the edge of the network.
"If you look at telcos, the intelligence of the port is there — you have to pass a security level at the port to access the network. If your architecture is based on centralised core routing to enforce security, that can leave ports open that people can sniff," Lada told ZDNet UK.
"With a telco, the intelligent points are at either end of the network and they make the decision to connect you. Intelligent switches will enable greater network control and better policy enforcement," Lada claimed.
Cisco also launched two security products on Monday. This will take Cisco "into new market areas in network security", the company said.
Cisco Security Management (CSM) Suite is a set of security management applications that Cisco claims will provide an operational framework for security policy enforcement and administration.
By integrating the monitoring, configuration and management of applications into a single product, Cisco says CSM will "identify and enforce policies associated with data monitoring, helping customers to identify, adapt to and prevent security threats".
Cisco is also moving into content filtering with a new module for the Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance 500 Series, developed with antivirus company Trend Micro.
This aims to protect systems against at the Internet gateway, by "unifying antivirus, anti-spyware, file blocking, anti-spam, anti-phishing, URL blocking and filtering, and content filtering," said Cisco.
Networking company 3Com also launched a security product on Monday, 3Com TippingPoint Quarantine Protection, through its TippingPoint division.
The network security product builds on TippingPoint's Intrusion Prevention Systems. 3Com said the product would let IT managers use their network "as an enforcement point, to contain or remove offending network users or devices".