HP offers Web hosting service

Hewlett-Packard (HP) in partnership with Top Layer Networks has launched a purpose-built Web applications infrastructure hosting service centre for existing HP customers.

David Lenz, marketing director, HP business customer sales organisation, said the centre was customer driven and will be an extension of the services currently provided to customers. "We are not going out into the marketplace as we supply equipment to many data centres, so we don't want to compete with our customers."

The $2.3 million E-serviceCentre is located at Rhodes near Sydney and will deliver an always-on Internet infrastructure to companies deploying complex e-commerce solutions. The centre will start operations this month and has already signed up four customers.

HP is implementing four of Top Layer's AppSwitch 3502 switches to provide the connectivity between the Internet, the centre and client Web-hosted servers; and to provide the security component of the centre.

Stephen Gerwing, senior consultant outsourcing, HP business customer sales organisation, said the infrastructure for the centre is based on ASIC technology, the big advantage of which is its very fast response if a security attack occurs.

Lenz said security was an important issue for the company and with the centre.

The AppSwitch combines denial of service attack filtering, with intrusion detection acceleration for complete coverage of high-speed links (up to gigabit link speeds). In the event of an attack, the switch will mirror packet flows to multiple intrusion detection devices.

Bruce Cohen, CEO and president of Top Layer Networks, said: "Cyberattacks are not just a New York problem. It is a worldwide phenomenon as we move from 'bricks' to 'clicks', and as thieves move from 'bricks' to 'clicks'."

Gerwing said HP was really just taking the Internet data centre model and providing a management level on top of this.

"Typically these sorts of centres don't provide security and customers have to provide their own firewalls. It is really a pay-per-use model. We will have the infrastructure ready for customers before they come in."

He said HP partnered with Top Layer as they were looking for a local distributor who could provide support locally.

The Sydney centre represents the first step in a regional rollout of centres in China, Japan and South East Asia, and is part of a global HP strategy to offer hosting facilities worldwide by the end of 2000.

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