HP: No plans to kill off 3Com products

Execs outline plans to integrate 3Com products into the HP portfolio

HP Monday said it has no plans to kill off any existing HP or 3Com networking products, but did not rule out such a move in the future.

There is "very little product overlap" between the recently merged HP and 3Com, and "anything that's offered today will be offered as long as customers want it and want to buy it," said Dave Donatelli, executive vice president and general manager of HP's enterprise servers, storage and networking division.

Donatelli and fellow HP executives outlined their plans for integrating 3Com products into the HP portfolio in a Webcast for reporters Monday. The HP Networking portfolio "combines HP ProCurve LAN edge products with 3Com's routing, security, data center and enterprise campus core switching solutions" into four broad series of products, dubbed the A Series, E Series, V Series and S Series, HP said.

While various product integrations can be expected in 2010 and beyond, no new technology was announced during Monday's marketing blitz, and Donatelli's statement that there are no plans to eliminate any existing products must be taken with a grain of salt.

Donatelli's statement was "the politically correct answer," says Gartner analyst Mark Fabbi. "Obviously you're not trying to upset the installed base. But when you start looking at the evolution of the portfolios you will start seeing a shift in what they emphasize and a shift in which platforms they are investing in."

For example, 3Com's wireless LAN switches have better management tools and are more integrated with the wired network, and so are likely to get more attention than HP's products, Fabbi says. HP ProCurve products at the edge of the network could be phased out relatively quickly.

The key product for HP's competition against Cisco will be 3Com's H3C S12500 core switch, now just called the A12500, Fabbi says.

HP "phased out their internal development on core switching over a year ago knowing they would make an acquisition," Fabbi says. "The 12500 solved so many of their problems. That was the primary reason for them doing the deal."

The 12500 is part of the newly branded "A Series" of products, along with other H3C switches, routers, wireless controllers, access points and management tools. The A Series will also include some HP ProCurve products, but the ProCurve name is being phased out as part of the rebranding.

While the A Series is geared toward enterprise customers with large and complex deployments, the E and V Series are for small and midsize businesses. The E Series includes a variety of HP and 3Com switches, the 3Com VoIP portfolio and ProCurve wireless access technology, all of which are designed for midsize businesses seeking "reduced complexities with a unified fabric across wired local area networks and wireless local area networks," HP said.

The V Series, for smaller customers, includes the rest of HP's ProCurve switches, an HP wireless router and several 3Com products including wireless firewall routers.

The last product line in the HP/3Com portfolio is the S Series, which is targeted toward security and takes advantage of 3Com's TippingPoint technology, which fixes software defects that threaten network security.

During the Webcast, HP executives also mentioned that they are developing Fibre Channel over Ethernet technology but did not elaborate.

HP boasted that its networking products are based on an open architecture that allows interoperability with multiple vendors and conformance to industry standards. This is not simply marketing fluff, Fabbi says. HP's multi-vendor management tools and focus on interoperability allow customers to use servers, storage and networking equipment from other vendors, including Cisco, he says.

Overall, the HP/3Com deal introduces a new level of competition, giving customers more leverage in negotiations, even if they don't choose to buy HP's technology, Fabbi says.

"This can really return the balance of power back to the buyer as opposed to the seller," Fabbi says. "Enterprises are just foolish if they don't take advantage of this."

Although HP didn't announce any new technology this week, the company will likely build management tools that weave HP and 3Com products together, and improve technology such as the BladeSystem Matrix, a converged software, server, storage and network platform designed to compete against Cisco's Unified Computing System.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags HPGartner3ComintegrationFibre Channel over Ethernet

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jon Brodkin

Network World
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?