New HP ProCurve Networking Architecture Provides for Secure, Mobile, Multi-service Enterprise Networks

Adaptive EDGE Architecture Delivers Affordable Intelligence at the Enterprise Edge to Support Networking Traffic
PALO ALTO, Calif., Jan. 27, 2003

Link to Press Kit.HP ProCurve Networking today introduced a comprehensive enterprise network planning and design infrastructure that enables companies to build secure, mobile, multi-service networks to support today's and tomorrow's network applications. The HP ProCurve Networking Adaptive EDGE Architecture is the first to deliver affordable, intelligent control to the edge of a network, allowing companies to more effectively manage complex applications, including mobility, security and convergence.

In response to changing customer requirements, HP's Adaptive EDGE Architecture fundamentally rethinks enterprise networking technology principles.

Historically, the primary location for network intelligence has been the network core. Allowing traffic to reach the core of the network without having it appropriately analyzed, classified and directed made it impossible to keep the network secure and severely affected the ability to run new network applications, such as VoIP.

In addition, in these "pre-EDGE" networks (without full control to the edge), deferring decisions about security and traffic to the network core significantly affected core performance and scalability and drove up cost and complexity. Straight-to-the-core packet traffic also opened networks to security attacks between the points where access was physically attained and where authorization was granted.

With these challenges in mind, the HP ProCurve Networking engineering team designed and developed the Adaptive EDGE Architecture, which places appropriate intelligence at the point where traffic enters the network while keeping management of the network at a convenient, central location.

"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 John McHugh, vice president and general manager, HP ProCurve Networking Business. "Until now, it has been cost prohibitive 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. Only the HP ProCurve Networking Adaptive EDGE Architecture lets customers implement the needed functionality at prices they can afford."

Control to the Edge, Command from the Center

By placing intelligence in edge devices and empowering them to manage traffic flow, the architecture affordably minimizes network traffic and management complexity while providing a secure foundation for future applications. Control to the edge places selected layer 2, 3, 4 and higher functions in edge switches that control access and traffic flows to ensure applications work correctly and concurrently without interference. HP ProCurve Adaptive EDGE networks support both centralized cores and distributed cores with equal facility since either interior core configuration can enforce the key decisions made at the edge. The architecture was developed to enable enterprises to build a network that easily adapts to the unique needs of each user, in essence, delivering a personalized network for each user. This is achieved through a number of key innovations, including:

  • HP ProCurve EDGE-enabled switches -- Enterprises can cost-effectively deploy user and security applications at the point where the user connects. The switch immediately recognizes who the user is and the types of services and access they are authorized to have, thus personalizing the network for them at the point of entrance. This also means that any unauthorized traffic is stopped at the point of connection, making the network less vulnerable to attack.
  • Secure connections for both portable and mobile users -- 802.1X port-based access control, MAC lockdown and attack protection features allow the ProCurve architecture to deliver unparalleled security.
  • Advanced application support -- HP ProCurve products, software, network designers, partners and support personnel provide support of the nearly limitless applications that will be deployed on Ethernet networks in the foreseeable future. For example, HP can provide VoIP or IP telephony solutions, design expertise and the network products that use layer 2, 3 and 4 traffic prioritization to ensure voice packets are not lost and latency is minimized throughout a multi-vendor the network, edge to edge.
  • Design flexibility and simplicity -- HP ProCurve networking products are so advanced that they eliminate the need for custom network designs or rigid network design standards. This saves organizations both time and resources by enabling easy implementation of secure, mobile, multi-service networks.
  • HP ProCurve policy-based management -- This range of management tools delivers control to the edge, paired with command from the center, ensuring that the network is highly secure and easy to manage and enables low total cost of ownership.

Many elements of the HP ProCurve Networking Adaptive EDGE Architecture are already available in current HP ProCurve products, including the recently introduced HP ProCurve Switch 5300 series. More information about the architecture is available at

HP ProCurve Networking products, services and solutions -- including Ethernet switches, routing switches, wireless access points and network-management applications -- allow customers to build networks that meet current and future needs for security, performance and reliability. More information about HP ProCurve Networking solutions and products is available at

About HP

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This news release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements. Risks, uncertainties and assumptions include the possibility that the market for the sale of certain products and services may not develop as expected; that development and performance of these products and services may not proceed as planned; and other risks that are described from time to time in HP's Securities and Exchange Commission reports, including but not limited to HP's annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended October 31, 2002, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on January 21, 2003, and subsequently filed reports. If any of these risks or uncertainties materializes or any of these assumptions proves incorrect, HP's results could differ materially from HP's expectations in these statements. HP assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

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