Page 2 of 2
FlexNetwork is three elements: FlexFabric, which simplifies data center infrastructure by converging network, computing and storage resources across both virtual and physical environments; FlexCampus, for easier access to content across converged wired and wireless networks; and FlexBranch, for extending network computing and security to the branch office.
Tying them together is FlexManagement: a single-pane-of-glass platform for managing the various technologies and services in a FlexNetwork architecture. According to Banic, FlexManagement can manage technologies by other vendors in HP's AllianceOne partner program.
Among the new products HP is rolling out in line with FlexNetwork is a new line of campus core switches, the HP A-series 10500 line. According to Banic, the 10500 line can deliver 3-microsecond latency -- in theory, nearly 75 percent lower than a comparable Cisco Catalyst switch, the 6509 -- and 128 wire-speed 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports. The 10500 line is expected to be available in the second half of 2011 and list starting at $38,000.
Nearly all of HP's new or refreshed gear is targeted as a Cisco alternative. Following the A-series 10500 is a refresh for HP's E5400 and E820 switches -- which HP is positioning as 90 percent lower latency and 600 percent higher throughput than Cisco Catalyst 4506 switches -- and also for the HP E-MSM460 and E-MSM466, wireless access points that can deliver 15 high-definition video streams per AP and compare to Cisco's 1140 and 3500 series APs.
Also new Monday is an update to HP's Intelligent Management Center, effectively the brains of its FlexNetwork management offering. IMC Version 5, as HP's calling it, manages the entire HP Networking portfolio and more than 2,600 devices from more than 35 vendors, including Cisco.
Version 5 will be available in June in the U.S. with a list price of $6,995, and another version, 5.1, will launch by the end of the year and include automatic synchronization for HP Networking tools with HP Virtual Connect technology.
Last is a security appliance: the TippingPoint S6100N IPS, which continues HP's expansion of the TippingPoint security portfolio HP acquired with 3Com more than a year ago.
Key to the S6100N appliance is that it automatically builds in protection for virtual machines as they're created and moved around in the network architecture. It leverages HP's TippingPoint Secure Virtualization Framework, and HP has built in deeper interoperability between the HP TippingPoint vController and VMware vShield for added cloud security. The appliance can inspect up to 16 Gbps of application traffic in realtime and is available now for a list price of $209,995.
According to Banic, HP will aggressively release more products and services under the FlexNetwork banner and work to build out a full complement of partner resources, too, including reference architectures that have been validated across HP ESSN's various units.
"The entire portfolio has a prescriptive place in the FlexNetwork architecture," he said. "This is only the first round of new, innovative product delivery based on FlexNetwork. The market is going to hear from us consistently."