And while Cisco Systems, Juniper Networks and other competitors have made their intentions in the data center abundantly clear, ProCurve, too, is drawing a line in the sand, further blurring the divide between the network and the data center.
"We're getting extremely serious about the data center," said F. Matthew Zanner, ProCurve worldwide director of data center networking.
Part of ProCurve's Adaptive Networks vision, the introduction of five new data center switches, under the HP ProCurve 6600 Switch Series umbrella, offers networking solutions for next-generation data centers, Zanner said. And while the data center market is becoming crowded with networking vendors climbing up the stack, Zanner said it was a perfect time for ProCurve to get in on the action.
Offering that end-to-end story is important not only from a competitive standpoint, but for solution providers looking to broaden their offerings.
"It's a competitive leverage point we never used," said Karl Soderlund, ProCurve vice president and general manager of sales and marketing for the Americas.
The 6600 series, ProCurve's first dedicated data center solutions, comprises five high-density, top-of-rack Gig and 10-Gig server edge switches optimized for the data center, offering simplified management and maintenance through consistent firmware across ProCurve's 5400, 8200 and now the 6600 series of switches.
Each switch in the 6600 series is based on the fourth generation of ProCurve's ProVision ASIC network chipset, driving the functionality. The series offers five high-density Gig and 10 Gig 1U switches that offer front-to-back reversible airflow, power-efficient hardware and software features and redundant power. The 6600 series includes two 24-port Gig switches, the 6600-24G and the 6600-24G-4XG; two 48-port Gig switches, the 6600-48G and 6600-48G-4XG; and one 10-Gig, 24-port switch, the 6600-24XG.
"We're pushing the Adaptive Networks vision to the server edge," Zanner said, adding the switches offer the same software image and management interface across the entire networking infrastructure, easing deployment.
Another facet of ProCurve's data center vision is the Data Center Connection Manager, management software that bridges server and network administration teams enabling policy-based provisioning of network and server resources in an automated and centralized fashion. The Connection Manager works in multivendor environments on both the server and network side and eases compliance and troubleshooting in a virtualized, complex environment.
For partners, the Data Center Connection Manager offers a building block to wrap in and create new services, Zanner said.
The 48-port ProCurve 6600-48G Switch Series will be available in the first half of 2009, while the 24XG and 24G middles will hit the market in March. The Data Center Connection Manager is expected in the second quarter.