Cisco, HP Team on Pervasive WLANs

By Eric Griffith

August 29, 2006

HP's system integrator arm will use Cisco's latest infrastructure equipment.

Cisco's Mobility Services— that is, specific support for security, voice, location services and guest access, all announced in June — are the catalyst for a new partnership between enterprise heavyweights Cisco Systems and HP.

The latter's systems integration arm, HP Services, will be using Cisco WLAN infrastructure equipment, such as the Catalyst 3750G WLAN Controller and the Cisco Unified Wireless Network Software 4.0, where appropriate with new customers.

"We have a good relationship with [HP]," says Ben Gibson, director of mobility solutions marketing for Cisco. "They're establishing a pervasive WLAN practice, focusing on the four services we're building and integrating." The use of Cisco equipment could include resale or full deployment for enterprise customers. The company describes this as a strategic effort from both companies.

Why go with Cisco when HP has its own networking equipment in the ProCurve division? HP's public relations says the company has services around both ProCurve and Cisco products, not to mention other vendors. The HP Services and ProCurve divisions are kept separate so Services can cherry-pick the right equipment on a customer-by-customer basis. The company's PR spokesperson says, "HP Services provides customer with choice. In some cases customers look to ProCurve, and in other cases to Cisco."

Cisco's Gibson says of this deal, "This is the first time a major system integrator has established a practice toward pervasive wireless. The industry is getting to a maturity point, not just about how to deploy access points but focused on these four areas, particularly voice and location."

Cisco notes in its release that earlier this year it released new products supporting the Light Weight Access Point Protocol (LWAPP) for remotely managing "thin" access points from a central intelligence/management controller, reducing AP configuration time.

The Université de Moncton in New Brunswick, Canada is one of the first HP/Cisco wireless campuses, which is used heavily for voice communications.

The two companies are also working together on initiatives including use of HP OpenView to manage networks, telephony, data centers, network storage and "intelligent buildings."



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