HP Unveils Latest Series of Switches that Rival Its Competition

Mike Vizard
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Thanks to the rise of everything from video to software-defined networks (SDNs), most IT organizations are looking at a significant 10 Gigabit Ethernet upgrade to their networking infrastructure within the next two years.

That shift also creates an opportunity for a whole host of rivals to challenge the networking dominance of Cisco. Among those vendors, Hewlett-Packard has enjoyed the most success, which it is trying to extend with the launch today of an HP 5400R zl2 series of switches that support throughput rates of up to 2 Terabits per second.

Steve Brar, global product marketing manager for HP Networking, says the HP 5400R zl2 series, which is based on a new implementation of HP ProVision ASIC processors, provides 58 percent lower latency than previous HP switches. The new switches are also three times faster than comparable Cisco switches offered in the same price range.

Priced starting at $2,419, the HP 5400R zl2 series is also backed up with a lifetime warranty and three years of free, 24/7 support.

Brar says that with the advent of both SDNs and the OpenFlow network infrastructure standard maintained by the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), HP has shipped networking equipment that has resulted in more than 30 million OpenFlow ports being deployed. In addition, Brar says that unlike most rival networking vendors, HP is actually shipping SDN applications that simplify the management of networking today.

As the shift from 1GB to 10GB Ethernet continues to gain momentum, Brar says HP expects to continue to gain share at a time when open networking standards are becoming a bigger factor in enterprise networking decisions.

The degree to which HP can increase its market share in a networking space dominated by Cisco remains to be seen. While a shift is under way to open network standards, interest in using industry standard servers and commodity silicon as an alternative to ASICs to provide the foundation for next-generation networking is also on the rise. In the meantime, the one thing that is for certain is that HP is a much stronger rival in this category today than it was previously.

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