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HP Revamps Entry Level Ethernet Switch

HP has made inroads in the small and medium business sector by delivering low cost, easy to maintain Ethernet switches. The company revamped one of its entry level lines, so it is more secure, simpler to deploy, and more energy efficient. The products may appeal to companies who need high speed connections but are not yet ready to embrace 10G Ethernet networking.HP announced the HP ProCurve 1810G Switch Series, which comes in 8 port and 24 port models. The network switches feature protection against the most common Denial-of-Service attacks. In addition, the devices are available with a fan-less design for silent operation, and new mounting options allow customers to station the switches in a wider range of locations. To reduce energy consumption, the products automatically place ports and LEDs in low power mode when they are not in use. Pricing for the 8 port starts at $209 and for the 24 port switch begins at $519.

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.