HP Launches Comprehensive SDN Portfolio

HP announced open-standards-based software-defined network (SDN) technologies to span infrastructure, control software and application layers with a “single control plane” that enables enterprises and cloud providers to simplify and maximize agility across networks.

As a comprehensive solution meant to fit data center, enterprise, or campus models, HP’s SDN approach covers three critical  layers: infrastructure, control software and application. Together they deliver the ability to apply business logic to network behavior in a dynamic fashion. The infrastructure layer uses the OpenFlow networking protocol to deliver open programmable access that automates hardware configurations.

Infrastructure and Control

Nine new HP (HPQ) switches, including a new HP3800 series, join the existing 16 OpenFlow-enabled switches that support for HP FlexNetwork architecture. With practically every industry heavyweight backing it, the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) consortium was launched a year ago, with the goal of advancing the development of a new open source networking protocol called OpenFlow. A new HP Virtual Application Networks SDN Controller abstracts the physical hardware from the logical deployment, providing a centralized view and automating network configuration of all devices in the infrastructure.   It also provides application program interfaces (APIs) to third-party developers to integrate custom enterprise applications.

“We recognized the need to scale our perimeter firewall capacity to cope with the increase of Internet traffic,” said Jean-Michel Jouanigot, communication systems group leader, IT Department, CERN. “In the framework of the CERN openlab R&D collaboration we are developing with HP’s software defined network technologies, a load-balancing application for the Virtual Application Networks SDN controller to distribute network traffic across multiple devices including firewalls and servers, increasing simplicity while reducing cost and bandwidth bottlenecks.”

Application Layer

For the application layer the new HP Virtual Cloud Networks software enables user to create an isolated virtual cloud network environment through a self-service public cloud infrastructure, providing them complete control for introducing new services and applications to their user. Also at the application layer, the new HP Sentinel Security software application automates network access control and intrusion prevention security with existing OpenFlow-enabled switch hardware through HP’s controller.  As a result, clients can eliminate the complexity and expense of dedicated networking hardware appliances.

“To solve the challenges created by legacy networks, organizations need the ability to automate the network from end to end by leveraging SDN to abstract the control plane from the physical infrastructure,” said Joe Skorupa, vice president and distinguished analyst, Gartner. “For maximum performance, utilization and simplicity, customers must ensure that there is a suite of SDN technologies across the entire network, from the hardware infrastructure to the control plane to the applications, and also from the data center to the desktop; in order to move beyond today’s complexities and improve business agility across the enterprise.”

HP has added SDN services to its portfolio to guide clients through SDN transformation steps and realize the benefits and IT implications.  Services include a HP Transformation Experience Workshop, a HP Provisioning Baseline Asessment Service, and a HP SDN Proof of Concept Service. HP will demonstrate new software solutions for HP Virtual Application Networks, as well as products in the FlexNetwork architecture and services at Interop New York 2012 October 1-5.

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About the Author

John Rath is a veteran IT professional and regular contributor at Data Center Knowledge. He has served many roles in the data center, including support, system administration, web development and facility management.

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  1. Great article. Mosaic Technology is a huge proponent of being preventative in security. We are eager to see these developments from our partner, HP. Meaghen Mosaic Technology