Hewlett-Packard recently planted its stake firmly in the worldwide networking market, announcing two new Gigabit Ethernet switches that it claims will help propel the company to leadership in 10/100 Ethernet switching.
In an aggressive move, Andrew Lysikatos, HP Australia's market development manager, network products, said: "The 10/100 switching market is up for grabs and our goal is to be a top three player."
Previously quiet as a serious networking player, Lysikatos said HP is hedging its bets on Gigabit Ethernet as the future of enterprise computing in local area networks (LANs). "ATM will be dead in the backbone within the next 12 months," he claimed.
As a result, the company's new ProCurve 1600M and ProCurve 8000M Gigabit switches are designed to provide network managers with tools to support the "natural evolution" of 10Base-T and 100Base-T to Gigabit speeds.
HP is promoting the products under the "proactive networking" banner, a strategy it says reflects the company's ability to keep networks ahead of the rising bandwidth demand curve. Lysikatos said the products allow for smaller, cost-effective upgrades as an alternative to "forklift upgrades" once users are suffering from a lack of bandwidth.
In town for the launch, David Bell, HP's US-based networks product marketing engineer, said Gigabit Ethernet will become a $600 million market by 2000, while the future of ATM in the backbone looks "shaky".www.hp.com.au