HP has become a force in the switching market by delivering easy to deploy, reliable, inexpensive switches. However, the networking business unit has been blowing in the wind, often functioning as an autonomous group vying for attention in a large conglomerate. Consequently, its voice has often been muted, and its long term direction questioned.
The vendor wants to change that perception, so the company has recently begun trying to find ways to bolster its networking devices. In August 2008, the vendor acquired wireless product vendor Colubris. In addition, HP has been moving to integrate its networking products into its main product lines. As evidence, the ProCurve switch announcement is part of a comprehensive set of product and service enhancements from the vendor. The change in attitude comes at a time when the industry is moving to consolidate servers, switches, and storage system features into single systems. HP has a broad portfolio and therefore is in a good position to take advantage of those changes.