The new products have a dual purpose in bringing Gigabit Ethernet to the desktop and moving Layer 3 services out to the edge of the network to help manage and secure remote connections.
Jon Weatherall, HP's UK Procurve networking manager, said, "Our aim is to force down the cost of Gigabit Ethernet so that it is affordable for widespread deployment but we also have to ensure that security is not compromised and that we are leaving the way open to convergence of new features such as Voice over IP and video streaming."
The Procurve 2650 and 6108 are designed as network upgrades to allow customers to upgrade to Gbit speeds. The 2650 is a stackable 50-port switch for campus and remote office use. It has 48 10/100TX ports and two Gbit ports which can take either RJ-45 or mini-GBIC connectors. The units support Layer 3 static routes to enable secure VLan links to be set up. The 6108 is for 10/100 Ethernet closet aggregation and has eight ports with two dual-personality Gigabit ports similar to the 2650. Both units are housed in 1U casings.
Lower down the scale, the Procurve 2724 and 2708 boast 24 ports and eight ports respectively, to offer Gbit to the desktop. These unmanaged switches can support up to 100 users and are intended as a low-cost, plug-and-play solution for creating small- to medium-sized networks.
The newly formed Procurve networking division will take responsibility for networking products from HP in the wired and wireless ranges. "We are currently number three in the networking market and our strategy is aimed at moving us up the scale to challenge the number one, Cisco," said Weatherall.