ProCurve 2910: More Power to the SMBs

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Hewlett-Packard is billing its new data network switch as an “in-between” device for shops that need more capacity but can’t afford to replace their entire rack. And, for the eco-friendly IT manager, it’s certified green.

Hewlett-Packard’s ProCurve business unit has unleashed a new “in-between” switch series for small to midsize companies that puts a whole lot of emphasis on green—environmental and monetary.

The 2910 series is designed to meet the needs of SMBs and midsize companies that are outgrowing their current network but can’t afford to rip and replace.

“We like to call this the Swiss Army knife of switches,” says Renee Meisenbach, HP ProCurve’s networking solutions manager. “It’s very versatile. It can be used for a variety of deployments, from edge of network to branch and regional offices to top of rack in a data network.”

The 2910 series features two 24-port and two 48-port fully managed Layer 2 10/100/1000 switches. The switches feature scaling capabilities via gigabit ports that can be added as a company’s networking needs increase or for bandwidth-intensive applications such as unified communications and VOIP (voice over IP). The additional bandwidth is available via optional two-port 10GB modules.

Two of the four switches feature Power over Ethernet (PoE) Plus, which offers more power per port than regular PoE, Meisenbach says, giving users the ability to power some of the edge devices that require more power, such as full-colour VOIP phones and security cameras. “Now they don’t have to find a power supply to plug in high-power devices,” she says.

In addition, PoE Plus enables users to allocate the amount of power directed to any port on the switch, allowing users to save on power costs and deploy power more efficiently, Meisenbach says.

“We have heard several requests to make deployment of power at the network more efficient, she says. “Because these switches are all about scalability, users can deploy PoE Plus, have more power when they need it, and build on to network and enhance it.”

And because the switches are expandable, users are keeping their networks up-to-date at a lower overall cost, Meisenbach says.

“The investment protection is what customers have been asking for. They want to feel comfortable that they’re future proof,” she says.

John Jabbusch, president and chief engineer at Carolina Advanced Digital, a ProCurve solution provider, notes that power over Ethernet has become a must-have technology for many of its customers.

“PoE has been gaining traction in our markets for the past few years,” he says. “With the increasing requirement for converged data and VOIP networks, PoE-powered wireless APs and their controllers, PoE-powered security video systems, and similar emerging technologies that will dictate PoE power delivery, we have transitioned from PoE as an exceptional requirement to the standard requirement in the span of a very short time.”

The switches also feature variable-speed fans that adjust to accommodate cooling needs. The switches are certified as energy-efficient by Miercom, which tested the devices and found them to offer a 23 percent cost savings over the industry average—and thereby making them suitable for all green IT deployments, Meisenbach says.

The switch series, which will be available April 1, have an MSRP ranging from $2,609 (£1,800) for the 24G switch (non-PoE Plus) to $6,599 (£4,571) for the 48G PoE Plus switch. The gigabit modules are priced at $779 (£540) and $2,099 (£1,454). Channel programs for the 2910 series will be announced soon, according to ProCurve.