HP Expands ProCurve Switch Line

In a separate announcement, HP will expand its ProCurve line of networking hardware today by adding 32- and 48-port Gigabit Ethernet switches as well as two new modules that can be plugged into existing devices.

Corporate users "are going to be hearing a lot more about ProCurve," said John McHugh, vice president and general manager of HP's ProCurve unit. He added that HP plans to give its switching technology a higher profile, with a focus on supporting security, mobility and convergence to IP networks.

Both of the switches are part of the ProCurve 5300xl family. The 32-port switch starts at $4,999 and supports 28 Gigabit Ethernet connections and four ports for either fiber-optic or copper cable, HP said. The larger model has a base price of $7,499 and offers 42 Gigabit Ethernet connections and six ports for cable.

One of the new switching modules will provide Power-over-Ethernet functionality for the 5300xl devices, at a list price of $2,729. Joe Thielen, IT manager at tea maker Celestial Seasonings, a subsidiary of The Hain Celestial Group Inc. in Boulder, Colo., said he's considering using the new Power-over-Ethernet module to support a voice-over-IP system that's due to be launched next month.

The deployment will serve as many as 2,000 end users, and Thielen said the combination of Power-over-Ethernet capabilities on the HP switches and the company's backup generator should keep the VoIP phones working during a power outage.

Thielen bought three ProCurve 5372 switches last year and said he's adding another one. The price of the first three switches was $30,000, considerably below what it would have cost to buy Cisco Systems Inc. hardware, according to Thielen. In addition, HP offers a lifetime warranty on its switches, he said.

Copyright © 2004 IDG Communications, Inc.

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