HP bucks up unified access line to better battle Cisco, others

Cloud-based managed service, SDN apps and access points launch

HP this week at the annual Interop Las Vegas conference is rolling out extensions to its unified access wired/wireless product portfolio designed to deliver consistent operation and management across the mixed infrastructure.


HP’s new unified access controller supports wired and wireless networks.

The new offerings include a cloud-based managed service, software-defined networking applications and appliances, and wireless access points.  They are intended to improve the performance and manageability of the wired/wireless enterprise campus network.

The unified access portfolio will compete with those from Cisco, Brocade and Alcatel-Lucent.

+ MORE ON NETWORK WORLD: Wireless Research Center | A list of stories from Interop 2014 +

The cloud managed wireless network service is targeted at small and mid-sized businesses that do not have the onsite IT staff or resources to manage their infrastructure. HP’s Cloud Managed Network  is based on a pay-per-use utility model and will directly compete with Cisco’s Meraki cloud-based WLAN offering.

HP also unveiled unified access controllers designed to deliver consistent policy management across wired and wireless networks. The HP 870 Unified Wired-WLAN Appliance supports  up to 30,000 devices, while the HP 850 Unified Wired-WLAN Appliance supports up to 10,000 devices.

A new SDN application is HP’s Location Aware, which the company says locates any wireless-enabled device indoors within two meters. HP Location Aware will be integrated with the company’s Virtual Application Networks SDN controller, and was developed by HP Labs.  

Location Aware can be used in retail and healthcare institutions, HP says. HP developed a proof of concept called SmartShopper that uses the application to deliver real-time, location-based offers to retail customers’ smartphones. Retailers can increase sales, HP says, by personalizing through targeted product promotion.

HP also rolled out two 802.11ac wireless access points, the HP 560 and 517. The 560 supports participation in an OpenFlow-controlled SDN and its applications.

HP is also partnering with Citrix and MobileIron to offer mobile device management integration with HP’s Intelligent Management Center.

HP’s Cloud Managed Network Solution will be available in June. The HP 870 Unified Wired-WLAN Appliance is available now for $35,999; the HP 850 Unified Wired-WLAN Appliance will be available in June.

The HP 560 802.11ac Access Points are available now for about $1,200, and the HP 517 Unified 802.11ac Wall Jack will be available in May for about $500. The HP Intelligent Management Center MDM Integration is available now.

HP also announced BYOD and IP Address Management professional services that are available now, and SDN Roadmap services that will be available in June.

Jim Duffy has been covering technology for over 27 years, 22 at Network World. He also writes The Cisco Connection blog and can be reached on Twitter @Jim_Duffy.

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