HP delivers SDN with HP Virtual Application Networks, OpenFlow and FlexNetwork

HP is serious about Software Defined Networking or SDN and this week the message was louder and clearer than ever. HP Virtual Application Networks (HP VAN) is looking to lead this push forward. Several presentations were presented at Interop NYC this week. All the presentations delivered a very consistent message. SDN is here, IT organizations will need to adopt it and HP is ready to deliver it to their customers through their HP Virtual Application Networks and FlexNetwork Architecture.  However, the true testament was the conversations with the various HP product experts or SDN subject matter experts. There was a lot of passion in their voice when they spoke about SDN and HP’s vision. Needless to say, they stand behind the products they represent, both hardware and software.  What was more remarkable was how passionate they were about the technology and how this SDN initiative could essentially change how data centers and IT operate today. Move over Big Data we have a new buzzword in town.

A quick recap of SDN news over the last few months.

  1. VMware acquiring Nicira – my personal opinion / blog on this acquisition
  2. HP launching the controller and application solutions around SDN at Interop NYC this week
  3. Thursday, Cisco acquiring vCider to bulk up their SDN efforts

In conversation with the HP SDN SME’s it was clear that there is an understanding of real world problems faced in today’s data center. There are limitations and major impacts when trying to move servers and applications from one data center to another.  Imagine if without disruption you could move virtualized workloads and your critical applications to accommodate changes at a given physical site. How about if you would like to and adopt a follow the sun model to bring the Virtual data center (VDC) closer to the region who will be consuming the applications and IT Services.

HP’s vision is to separate the control plane and the data plane traditionally in the network fabric, giving the network applications control to manipulate network behavior. By providing programmable interfaces to the controller, HP delivers a modular SDN architecture that leads to the development of network applications, which rapidly adapt the network to the requirements of business applications.

To enable network flexibility and multivendor networks, HP integrates new open standards for SDN technologies—including OpenFlow into HP FlexNetwork and Virtual Application Networks. OpenFlow provides the layer between the controller and the networking switches. Broad industry adoption of OpenFlow and support makes it an easy integration point. HP continues to promote the ProCurve line of switches HP’s strong point with their ProCurve line has always been interoperability.

Virtual Application Networks is based on HP’s FlexNetwork architecture

HP Flex Network Poster

Virtual Application Networks provide a virtualized view of a network – abstracted from the physical equipment – that transforms a rigid physical enterprise network into a programmable, multitenant and application-aware virtual network. The goal is to enables IT staff to deploy new cloud applications to users in minutes rather than weeks and ensure SLAs are consistently met by using templates to automate network orchestration.

It will be interesting to see how this all plays out as more Vendors surround themselves with SDN expertise and develop solutions which will easily be adopted by their customers. This is the type of “disruptive, game changing technology” which keeps us IT folks interested.

Below is a presentation & Demo by HP’s VP Marketing HP Networking – Mike Banic

Thank you.


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