HP interconnects the dots

Hewlett-Packard laid down one of the cornerstones in its strategy to push intelligence out to the network edge last month when it introduced the ProCurve Interconnect Fabric Switch 8100 series.

The 8100 is designed as a LAN core switch interconnecting intelligent edge switches.

“In an Adaptive Edge architecture, we have a different feature set, yet a high importance placed on redundancy and resiliency,” said Darren Hamilton, category business manager for networking products at HP Canada.

Adaptive Edge is HP’s strategy for pushing intelligence from the network core to the network edge.

Since the 8100 doesn’t require as much intelligence as a traditional core switch, it’s considerably cheaper, Hamilton noted.

Pricing on the box will start at $34,999 for an eight-slot version. The 8100, which comes in 16-slot (8116fl) and eight-slot flavours (8108fl), is based on technology HP acquired in its acquisition of Riverstone Networks last year.

The switches support single-port 10Gigabit Ethernet modules and 10-port Gigabit Ethernet modules. Both versions can support redundant fabric and management modules for high availability.

What makes the 8100 unique, according to HP, is that each connectivity module can act as its own packet switch, letting the switch process packets locally in each module.

In addition to the 8100, HP introduced an update to its Identity Driven Manager software which lets companies lock out end users if their machines don’t meet pre-set requirements for anti-virus and/or OS updates. IDM 2.0 uses the Trusted Network Connect architecture as outlined by the Trusted Computing Group, an organization of about 60 vendors developing standards for network technologies. IDM 2.0 plugs into HP’s ProCurve Manager Plus and will cost around US$5,500 when it becomes available in December.

HP also introduced ProCurve Mobility Manager 1.0 for wireless security. The US$2,000 package lets customers with HP ProCurve wireless LAN endpoints push down configuration settings from a central console. Mobility Manager is slated for a December release.

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