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HP leans on easy-to-use gear

The company rolls out a new marketing campaign and launches accompanying 10 mbps and 100 mbps shared hub devices.

Systems giant Hewlett-Packard (HWP) continues to try to hone its networking message.

Hanging its hat on reducing complexity within a network, the company today rolled out a new marketing campaign and launched accompanying 10 mbps and 100 mbps shared hub devices. Executives also said gigabit-speed gear from the firm will hit the market by the end of the second quarter of this year.

HP continues to insist that it will remain a player in the networking equipment game, despite a glutted market for Ethernet-based devices. There are even rumors in some industry circles that HP may want to divest itself of its networking equipment division, even though it remains a profitable component of the company, from all reports.

Its latest effort to heighten interest in its networking division is based around a concept called "pro-active networking," a term that is intended to speak to the headaches network managers often face when implementing or expanding a network scheme.

Don Wilson, a product marketing manager for HP, stressed that the company can offer a unique combination of easy-to-use equipment, management tools, and service and support that can alleviate the problems of network administration.

To buttress his point, he noted that HP will offer a lifetime warranty on all networking equipment.

In order to fill out its low-end line of gear, HP announced a 24-port unmanaged Fast Ethernet hub that is priced at less than $70 per port. Two new Ethernet models with managed and unmanaged options offer 12 or 24 ports of capacity for as low as $11 per port.

Separately, Ethernet start-up Foundry Networks announced price cuts of up to 40 percent on a wide range of its equipment and launched a new gigabit-ready switch targeted at workgroups within organizations. The new 24-port FastIron switching device will debut next month and includes options for one or two Gigabit Ethernet ports.