Computing powerhouse Hewlett-Packard on Wednesday announced plans to acquire networking solutions provider 3Com for $2.7 billion.

As part of the deal, HP picks up 3Com subsidiary TippingPoint, a leading provider of intrusion prevention and network access control systems.

The purchase of Marlborough, Mass.-based 3Com, scheduled to close in the first half of next year, will let HP customers simply their networking infrastructure and improve IT service delivery under its “next-generation data center strategy built on the convergence of servers, storage, networking, management, facilities and services,” Palo Alto, Calif.-based HP said in a statement.

“Companies are looking for ways to break free from the business limitations imposed by a networking paradigm that has been dominated by a single vendor,” Dave Donatelli, an HP executive vice president and general manager, said.

In March 2008, a proposed $2.2 billion buyout of 3Com by a private equity firm and its Chinese telecommunications partner fell through over U.S. government concerns.