In another sign that the longstanding relationship between Hewlett-Packard and Cisco is irreconcilably breaking down, HP ProCurve has unveiled a multi-vendor alliance programme dubbed Open Network Ecosystem (ONE) and launched its first line-up of dedicated data centre solutions.
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The announcement comes barely a week after a high-level leak at Cisco revealed the networking goliath was preparing to move into the server market itself, possibly as early as March 2009, and ProCurve's move can be read between the lines as a pre-emptive shot across its rival's bows.
ProCurve's new line-up includes a Data Centre Connection Manager product designed to streamline operations in next-gen data centres, and five new top-of-rack server edge switches.
This effectively allows ProCurve dealers to sell full end-to-end data centre solutions whereas previously, they had had to recommend Cisco for top-of-rack gear.
ProCurve has hooked up with other industry heavyweights including Avaya, F5 Networks, McAfee, Microsoft and Riverbed in a move designed to help customers simplify their network management processes, improve performance and deploy new cost-saving services.
"The key idea is to give our customers and channels more choice compared to proprietary solutions," ProCurve European channel head Peter Shaudeck told MicroScope.
"Our channel partners can benefit from selling joint solutions with our partners and avoid getting locked into single vendor solutions," hinted Shaudeck, although he declined to name Cisco directly.