3Com Targets Enterprise, Cisco With H3C Play

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3Com is looking to re-establish the relevance it once had in the enterprise space, bringing its H3C line of gear to the U.S. and launching a new channel program around it.

Along with bringing the H3C name from China to other parts of the world, 3Com is introducing new H3C equipment as it trains its eye on the large enterprise.

According to Saar Gillai, 3Com's senior vice president of worldwide products and solutions, the H3C line will focus on large enterprise and data center deployments, while the 3Com name will remain aimed at the SME and SMB. In addition, 3Com's TippingPoint security arm will maintain its focus on high-end security.

"With what's happening in the networking world, this is the ideal time to do this," Gillai said of the shift. 3Com bought out Huawei for $882 million in 2006, taking over the H3C line, which Gillai said holds a roughly 35 percent networking market share in China, beating out rival Cisco Systems.

The H3C brand comprises myriad pieces of networking equipment, including wireless access points, data center switches, telephones and security offerings, including VPNs and firewalls.

Gillai said 3Com's focus on H3C will not change the standard 3Com portfolio.

While making H3C equipment available to a wider audience, 3Com is also launching new H3C products, including the H3C S12500, a data center aggregation and core switch that offers a 6.6-Terabit fabric, can transmit 2.2 billion packets per second and offers up to 512 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports and 864 1 Gigabit ports. The H3C S12500 is 3Com's answer to Cisco's Nexus 7000 series. Gillai said the S12500 can offer roughly double the performance and density while consuming half the power of the Nexus 7000. In a typical configuration, the S12500 starts at $60,000. It is expected to ship in July.

3Com Monday also unveiled the H3C Intelligent Management Center, a single pane network management platform for heterogeneous networks, and the S5800 flex-chassis series, a family of six pizza-box-style fixed-configuration 1 Gigabit and 10 Gigabit switches that can be grouped into a single virtual switch to deploy services and applications. The S5800 series switches are designed to be used top-of-rack in a data center or in the core and can support 24 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports or up to 192 ports in a virtual stack, and 80 Gigabit Ethernet ports, or 640 per stack. The S5800 line can also be upgraded to PoE and PoE+, Gillai said. The S5800 line, which ships in July, starts at $6,495. The Intelligent Management Center ships in June and pricing has not been revealed.

Alex Dobson, 3Com's North American vice president and general manager, said 3Com will also launch a separate invitation-only channel program around its H3C gear. The new program won't change 3Com's existing partner programs. Instead, it will offer its own version of a direct-touch program where 3Com goes hand-in-hand with partners to facilitate H3C deals.

"The focus is really on large enterprises," he said. "H3C is outside of the 3Com program; it's not a Platinum level, it's not a specialization."


NEXT: Partners Weigh In

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