HP ProCurve-F5 Alliance Offers Unified Platform

by Sonal Desai    Feb 13, 2009

Is the HP ProCurve-F5 strategic alliance aimed at breaking Cisco’s monopoly?

"Yes," said Harvinder Singh, country manager-India for F5 Networks. "The alliance wants to break Cisco’s monopoly in the market. With Cisco, you have to buy an entire platform. We decided to give customers the ability to choose. The back-end is jointly developed."

Singh said that the alliance will provide customers with a data fact-sheet, which will have information on the solutions that the customer wants to buy. "It will have information on the specs, applications and other offerings. The data fact-sheet will be HP ProCurve certified. Plus, the solutions come with a free life time warranty."

While Brocade and Cisco (others) are Layer 4 players in this segment, Singh said that the alliance will cater to the needs of Layer 4-Layer 7. "We are looking at customer request content and offering a unified platform."

The advantage to HP ProCurve is F5 is not a load balancer for them. It is an application deliverer. "Also, we hold 62 percent of market revenue in the advanced platform segment. So it was a win-win situation for both HP ProCurve and F5. HP has been selling F5 networks. We have built on this relationship, and strengthened it further. The advantage for us will be to join with HP solutions, and leverage their market penetration."

Singh said there are many boxes between the end-user and a datacenter, and therefore integration is a very big challenge. "Even Cisco does not have a unified platform to address this issue, because the piece is not home-grown. We are betting on integration, since all our applications will run on one platform. What we are bringing for a CIO or a CTO advantages like scalable networks and rich features. Plus, it enables 58 percent power saving, 75 percent lesser in management and is two times faster in application acceleration."

The offerings will be on an open architecture, and HP ProCurve wants to invite more vendors in this alliance. The two companies will sell their solutions to enterprises across verticals. "There should be traction for datacenters," Singh said.