HP NGIPS Launch Fills Networking Gaps

HP Tipping Point ApplianceIn recent months, Hewlett Packard Co. has reinvigorated efforts around its security strategy. Now that strategy includes a networking security piece.

To that end, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based PC manufacturer launched a new line of its TippingPoint next generation appliances, aimed at taking on major competitors Cisco Systems Inc., Fortinet Inc. and Palo Alto Networks Inc. And it’s revving its channel to tackle new business in the process.

The launch incorporates the HP S7500NX, HP S6200NX and HP S2600NX NGIPS, featuring speeds of 20Gbps, 10Gbps and 3Gbps respectively. And like most Next Generation Intrusion Prevention System lines, the NX Series portfolio touts enhanced detection, identification and mitigation of network security threats.

But for this IPS launch, HP is hanging its hat on performance. Rob Greer, HP vice president and general manager, enterprise security products, TippingPoint, cited to Channelnomics a high port density per rack unit, which bolstered performance and throughput aimed to cater to some of HP’s largest customers with 20 Gbps datacenter needs. That ultimately represented a performance value proposition by reducing rack and data center space as well as saving energy on power and cooling.

And in light of its expanded push into networking security markets, Greer said that the company is hoping to appeal to security solution providers looking to build out a managed services strategy.

Naturally, partners can deploy the NX line, and host it on behalf of the customer, leveraging it as a foundation for an array of specialized and customizable professional services offerings down the road. But where the biggest value will likely be found is in the channel’s ability to integrate a myriad of HP security lines into combined solutions that hoist partner value and margins.

TippingPoint solutions retain the ability to monitor and block threats. But combining TippingPoint systems with Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) offerings from ArcSight, threat detection and intelligence capabilities from HP’s DV Labs, or applying a digital vaccine and a custom app from the Fortify portfolio, gives the resulting solutions an entirely new dimension, Greer said – one that can be powerful value-add for partners when going up against Cisco, Fortinet and other well-established legacy networking players. And it’s a goal that HP is inching toward, although not yet realized.

Combined portfolios represent an new integrated paradigm at HP that is also infiltrating the channel. Of late, the company has sought greater consistency, pulling its various security channel programs under the auspices of its PartnerOne HP Channel Program. And now it’s making initial forays on that strategy.

Earlier this year, the firm revved its channel for a concerted security push with recruitment and enablement, acknowledging that its partners were its primary go-to-market vehicle in for a comprehensive security launch.

Going forward, Greer said that more effort would be put into security channel recruitment, as well as equipping partners with the ability to tackle customers’ challenges from a solutions perspective.

“The products and processes that we bring to bear, we want to go and find partners that solve the entirety of the problem,” Greer said. And to that end, HP is placing renewed efforts across the board on enterprise systems integrators, advisors and consulting channel components, as well as traditional resellers.

The revised approach comes as a bit of an about face for HP. While the firm conducted serial security purchases of ArcSight, Fortify and TippingPoint in rapid succession more than three years ago, the acquisitions remained largely as separate entities, with little product overlap or channel alignment.

Now, as HP revs the networking piece of its security story, the company is realizing that it needs the rest of its security components to harmonize if its wants to create enough channel value to effectively take on challengers in  a heated security market.

And to some degree, HP has little choice. Major rivals IBM Corp. and Dell Inc. recognized earlier on security’s value and longevity and are subsequently several paces ahead of the company in terms of security integrations, services strategy and channel alignment.

But HP taking pains to catch up.

“There’s more consistency in the way we work with our partners,” Greer said. “There’s a big focus in HP around the channel. We’re doing a lot in the channel. We can do better, and we have been doing better. We’re going to be doing even more through the channel.”