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HP launches networking portfolio after 3Com buy

The company has launched a comprehensive suite of networking products that will enable it to better take on Cisco, according to analysts
Written by Tom Espiner, Contributor

HP has launched an expanded networking portfolio that combines products from its recent 3Com acquisition with its ProCurve switches.

HP ProCurve will no longer exist as an individual brand, and will be combined with 3Com, including TippingPoint, under the banner of HP Networking, led by senior vice president Marius Haas.

"With HP, clients will have a network which is open, flexible and robust, with a 'single pane of glass' [approach to] management," said Haas in a web conference on Monday. "[HP Networking] provides a secure network fabric."

The company announced that it had successfully acquired network infrastructure firm 3Com last week. It will combine 3Com's TippingPoint network security products into its HP Secure Advantage product family. HP Networking will launch a product range that encompasses datacentre networking, routing, security, LAN switching, and unified communications products, said Haas.

The products will be integrated into HP's existing 'A', 'E', 'V', and 'S' series products, and will form a cornerstone of HP's Converged Infrastructure strategy, said the company.

The company will fight networking market leader Cisco in terms of cost, said HP general manager of enterprise servers, storage and networking Dave Donatelli in the conference.

"We're excited about [the 3Com] acquisition because we are providing customers [with] choice in the marketplace that they've been lacking," Donatelli said. "One of the reasons we are so excited about the acquisition is, particularly in the China market, where you've seen head-to-head competition with 3Com products and Cisco, 3Com has won."

Donatelli said customers had "voted with their wallets" in China. Prior to its acquisition by HP, 3Com had been lacking global distribution, services and sales force, he added.

Andy Buss, access and infrastructure service director with analyst firm Freeform Dynamics, said on Tuesday it was important for HP to have a comprehensive networking portfolio and a unified brand.

"Everybody in networking is playing catch-up with Cisco, but HP's portfolio puts it in a strong position," said Buss. "Now it's got [products] which take it all the way into the datacentre."

Buss said he expects HP will first concentrate on aligning its storage, networking and security products and services. "HP will be able to start putting the elements of the stack together," he said.

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