HP ProCurve puts emphasis on the data center

As it introduces switches and management tools "dedicated" to the data center, it is also building a community of vendors for its ProCurve Open Network Ecosystem (ONE) alliance partner program.
Written by Colin Barker, Contributor

HP ProCurve has launched a data center networking push, introducing switches and management software, and enlisting technology vendors as networking allies.

On Monday, the company announced what it called its "first dedicated data center solutions", including the new Data Center Connection Manager software, which can automate the provisioning, or allocation, of server and network resources. The tool is designed to "streamline operations in next-generation data centers", HP ProCurve said in a statement.

In addition, the company released the ProCurve 6600 series of switches. The five server-edge switches have the same firmware as HP's 5400, 8200 and new 6600 series of switches, to make management and maintenance simpler. They are based on the ProVision Asic network chipset, developed by HP ProCurve.

The second part of HP ProCurve's strategy is aimed at building a community of technology vendors around ProCurve networks. The ProCurve Open Network Ecosystem (ONE) alliance partner program promises to result in a range of network applications and services that will integrate directly with ProCurve-based networks.

"The intention has been to recruit the best-of-breed software suppliers to build up this ecosystem around the products", Rene Yandell, a business manager for HP ProCurve, told ZDNet Asia sister site ZDNet UK.

Partners in ProCurve ONE include companies such as Microsoft, Avaya, McAfee, F5 and Riverbed, as well as Aastra, AirTight Networks, Ekahau, InMon, .vantronix and VBrick.

The ecosystem is built with applications that are tested for interoperability with the new HP ProCurve ONE Services zl network module, the company said. The module is an HP blade that can go with two existing switches: the 5400zl and the 8200zl. The z1 will cost from US$4,000 to US$17,000.

ProCurve has gone through changes over the past few months, with a major restructuring of the sales operation. It used to be run as a separate operation within HP, but now "is completely integrated into HP", said Yandell.

"We can now call on the resource of the whole of HP sales, and that is 23,000 enterprise sales people," she said. "We have 120,000 resellers across Europe."

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