HP is beating its chest this week over the latest numbers from Dell\u2019Oro Group, which indicate the vendor\u2019s shipments of Layer 3 switches are growing very rapidly.From the last quarter of 2002 to the first quarter of this year, HP\u2019s Layer 3 port shipments nearly tripled and its market share went from 5.1% to 12.8%.In terms of modular port shipments of Layer 3 Fast Ethernet, HP points out that its 36.3% market share makes it tops in that category. Overall, HP says its ProCurve Networking Business grew 5% from one quarter to the next.Dell\u2019Oro also showed that Gigabit Ethernet port shipments grew 14% in the first quarter of this year. Interestingly, this is the sixth consecutive quarter of growth for the technology, reflecting the growing popularity of Gigabit Ethernet despite economic woes.Also interestingly, Gigabit over copper is close to overtaking Gigabit over fiber. Copper port shipments were 43% of total Gigabit port shipments, up from 33% in the fourth quarter of last year.Dell\u2019Oro notes that the popularity of copper-based Gigabit Ethernet is due in part to its low cost, and that the rise of copper brought down the average cost of Gigabit ports by 10%.In this area of Gigabit Ethernet, HP grew 28%, and it still ranks third - behind No. 1 Cisco, which grew 16%, and 3Com, which grew 24%. No. 5 Foundry Networks also saw impressive growth, at 29%, while Nortel and Extreme Networks both saw port shipments drop.