Gigabits galore: HP unveils high density 10-Gig switch

Hewlett-Packard continued to beef up its networking portfolio with a series of new products and management enhancements unveiled last month.

On the hardware front, HP introduced the ProCurve Routing Switch 9400sl series, a high-density 10-Gigabit Ethernet box designed for the network core, or as an aggregator of intelligent edge devices.

The 9400sl boasts thirty-two ports of wirespeed 10-Gigabit Ethernet. The switch can also support Gigabit and 10/100Mbps connections.

The 9400 has been futureproofed to some extent, with the switch fabric supporting 40-Gigabit speeds to the modules.

“So down the road we could offer 40-Gigabit Ethernet, which is where the market is going beyond 10-Gigabit Ethernet,” said Darren Hamilton, category business manager for networking products at HP Canada.

The 9400 includes the usual features of a high-availability box, including hot swappable power supplies and optional redundant management modules.

If a management module goes down, administrators can still access the switch through a dedicated 10/100Mbps management port.

Products the 9400 would go head-to-head against include the Cisco Catalyst 6500 and the Extreme BlackDiamond 10808, Hamilton said.

“HP is trying to sell a network, just like Cisco, so they need a diverse range of products to do that,” said Jean Kaplan, an associate research analyst with IDC. “The 9400sl series is part of their initiative to help customers with large data files that create a lot of traffic get gigabit speeds to the desktop.”

HP also rolled out enhancements to its ProCurve Manager network management platform.

New features include support for the IEEE standard Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP), allowing ProCurve Manager to map and discover any devices that support LLDP.

“Until recently we made sure we incorporated and licensed the Cisco Discovery Protocol in our switches so they could discover and map in a Cisco environment,” Hamilton said. “But there was a need to have an open standard for discovery across the network.”

Other ProCurve Manager enhancements include a new interface, SNMPv3 support and Secure Shell and RADIUS authentication.

HP also revealed it will be making free upgrades to its 5300 series switches and ProCurve Wireless Access Point 420 series.

The 5300 now supports Internet Control Message Protocol throttling, which Hamilton said would help prevent network downtime due to denial of service attacks.

The 420 series add-ons include 802.11i and 802.1X Extensible Authentication Protocol support.

Pricing for the 9400sl series starts at US$310,000 and the products are expected to be available in August. ProCurve Manager 2.0 and ProCurve Manager Plus 2.0 are also expected later this summer. ProCurve Manager Plus 2.0 has a starting price of US$3,100. The no-cost software enhancements for the ProCurve 5300xl Switch series and Wireless Access Point 420 series are planned to be available soon.

QuickLink: 054351

— with files from Network World (U.S.)

Related links:

HP releases its 64-bit-ready business PC

10G Ethernet vendors look to stoke demand

Standard looks to break the Gigabit Ethernet bottleneck

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