HP ProCurve will up the ante in the battle for the low-end switch market today with two new fanless device families, one a Layer-2 unmanaged GbE and the other a smart web-managed, 10/100 range.
The launch of the 1400 and 1700 families by Hewlett-Packard Co’s networking division is a significant expansion of its low end range. The 1400 is a family of L2, unmanaged, 10/100/1000 switches, and as such, is a direct replacement for the 2700 family, which had the same characteristics but still shipped with fans.
The removal of this moving part not only makes it easier to support a lifetime warranty, since it means there are less parts to go wrong, but also enables it to offer a lower price.
The 1700 is Roseville, California-based ProCurve’s second foray into smart switches, a category it entered in August last year with its 1800 series. Smart switches are L2 devices which, by incorporating silicon with some added smarts, offer a step up from the unmanaged class of switch, with some basic management features such as support for VLANs and link aggregation, delivered via a web interface.
Netgear claims to have created the smart switch category earlier this decade, though nowadays SMC, Allied Telesis, D-Link and 3Com are all in the space. ProCurve joined the fray last year and now is stepping up its activities with the 1700, which again is a fanless box and so can be priced more aggressively against the competition.
Both families consist of two versions, an 8-port for the desktop and a 24-port rack-mountable, the same port counts as the outgoing 2700 family, which suggests ProCurve is re-utilizing the basic hardware but with fanless technology and two flavours (unmanaged GbE and smart 10/100) to cover more requirements at that end of the market.
As for pricing, we were unable to ascertain US list prices by time of publication, but the European prices are 89 euros ($119) for the 1400-8G and 315 euros ($420) for the 1400-24G, while the 1700-8 is 75 euros (100) and the 1700-24 is 195 euros ($260).
European list prices are traditionally higher than their US counterparts, of course, as manufacturers factor in cost of shipping and give their reseller channel more margin for discounting, but even on a straight comparison basis, these prices are aggressive: a rapid search on Google yesterday came up with online prices for the 2708 starting at $420 in the States, while the lowest price for the 2724 was $1,136.