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HP's ProCurve Targets Wireless, Edge

Hewlett-Packard Monday released a handful of networking tools it hopes will attract the attention of mid- to large-sized enterprises.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based computer and printer maker's ProCurve division unveiled a new Networking Adaptive EDGE Architecture designed to manage complex applications, including mobile, security and convergence at remote locations.

The company says its combination of hardware and software control to the edge places selected layer 2, 3, 4 and higher functions in edge switches that control access and traffic flows to make sure applications work correctly without interference.

HP said its vision of that optimal network is a combination of its ProCurve EDGE-enabled switches, software (802.1X port-based access control, MAC lockdown and attack protection features) and support.

"As more advanced applications like mobility and multi-service networks become pervasive, more functionality must exist at the edge of the network to characterize and isolate traffic," said HP vice president John McHugh. "Until now, it has been expensive to deploy this type of functionality in every enterprise LAN access device. The new generation of network-based applications customers are implementing can deliver real efficiencies, but can also make the underlying networks far too complex and expensive if not architected appropriately."

For mid- to large-sized wireless local area network (WLAN) deployments, HP released its HP ProCurve Wireless Enterprise Access Point 520wl. HP says the 520wl can accommodate future wireless LAN standards as well as enhancements to current standards.

Priced at $699, the 520wl is configured to support online software upgrades and comes with complimentary phone support plus a 1-year hardware warranty with optional extensions. The access point supports IEEE 802.1x port-based access control technology; dynamically generated WEP keys and rapid re-keying and two VLANs extending logical LANs at the switch level across the wireless LAN network.

In addition to the access point, the company is also selling a $119 HP ProCurve Wireless 802.11b Access Point Card 150wl and a Range Extender Antenna 100wl for $139 as compliments to its Networking Adaptive EDGE Architecture.

HP ProCurve Networking products, services and solutions -- including Ethernet switches, routing switches, wireless access points and network-management applications, competes with products from Cisco Systems and 3Com .

HP's ProCurve line has taken a backseat to the company's more prominent printers, PCs and servers, but the group is still key to the success of HP's $4.1 billion Enterprise Systems division.