HP Takes Modular Approach to Branch Office Networking Solutions
Now that Hewlett-Packard has digested 3Com, HP is ready to serve up a new menu of Converged Infrastructure solutions — including the new HP Branch Office Networking Solution. So what’s the strategy here? Mike Bannic, VP of marketing for HP networking and Flynn Malloy, director of marketing for HP technology service, offer some insights.
HP says the solution addresses potential weaknesses in traditional branch office offerings. The solution leverages integrated hardware, software and network platforms that are more commonly found in the enterprise. HP is providing the solution with “14 best-in-class partner applications” including WAN acceleration, unified communications, security and more. VARs can access and manage the solution from a single screen, without the need to micromanage a ‘conga-line’ of appliances in customer branch offices.
HP’s Converged Infrastructure is extended the branch using this 5400zl switch series, and the network appliance consolidation happens inside the zl chassis. The “open modular platform” is designed to integrates easily, and application modules being features include:
- Avaya Aura Session Border Controller powered by Acme Packet,
- Citrix Netscaler VPX,
- Microsoft Lync,
- NetScout nGenius Integrated Agent and Riverbed Steelhead RiOS.
You can get your hands on the HP5400zl today, worldwide, at the price of $8,294, and you can pair it with the AllianceONE Services zl Module.
Bannic detailed some of the more technical details about the modules…
“The hardware slides into the 5400 switches and the module becomes the landing point for the application. The module goes in a slot and plugs directly into the back-plate (of the switch). It performs functions naively in the switch, rather than having a dedicated appliance [that goes through] private v-LAN.”
And for the channel partners, they have this to look forward to:
“HP is continuing to invest in organic technology. ProCurve and 3COM partners…can sit down an talk to customers on problem solving, with something other than Cisco or Juniper would do.”
I asked Bannic why no one had provided this modular switch-based solution before. He noted that solutions like these exist, but asserted that companies like Cisco lock you down to their solutions inside the switch, instead of providing a more open ability to invest in different technologies.
“It’s a great differentiator for partners to go to customers and say…”HP is giving you choice and flexibility.”
Of course, The VAR Guy’s team has to give Cisco and Juniper equal time. And we’ll strive to do so in the days ahead.