HP Unveils Complete Software-Defined Network Fabric

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HP unveiled a series of hardware and software solutions Tuesday designed to make networks simpler, scalable and automated. HP (HPQ) launched a data center network fabric built on HP FlexNetwork architecture designed to boost scalability and reduce network provisioning time from months to minutes.

“For the past 20 years, data center networks have lagged in supporting new enterprise  demands for cloud, virtualization and big data,” said Bethany Mayer, senior vice president and general manager, Networking, HP. “Only HP is positioned to deliver the industry’s most complete software-defined data center network fabric with innovations that enable our customers to create a network foundation that will meet their needs today and well into the future.”

FlexFabric

HP announced the new FlexFabric Virtual Switch 5900v software, in conjunction with the HP FlexFabric 5900 physical switch, delivering advanced network functionalities such as policies and quality of service to a VMware environment. Separation of  server and network administrations for operational simplicity is granted through the 5900 integrated Virtual Ethernet Port Aggregator (VEPA) technology. The Virtualized Services Router (VSR) lets services be delivered on a virtual machine, eliminating unnecessary hardware, by leveraging a carrier-class software-based Network Function Virtualization.

“Today’s data center networks are somewhat static and limiting in their ability to scale — they are also complex and require manual provisioning for cloud and virtualized applications,” said Rohit Mehra, vice president,Network Infrastructure, IDC. “HP’s portfolio of physical and virtual switches, as well as its SDN-enabled network fabric, indicates its readiness to address many of these challenges, providing clients simplicity, scalability and automation to enable new services and applications for the data center.”

Additional FlexFabric switches and routers continue to address the simpler, scalable and automated mantras. The FlexFabric 1190 is an Open Flow-enabled aggregation switch that delivers 10/40 GbE connectivity for blade servers and Virtual Connect FlexFabric modules, enabling flexible and cost-effective deployment for data centers.  The 11908 switch series is the first to support the recently released OpenFlow 1.3.

The FlexFabric 12900 switch series manages bandwidth spikes with built-in networking standard Transparent Interconnection of Lots of Links (TRILL). With up to 768 10 GbE ports and 36 Tbps of non-blocking fabric, the 12900 provides up to 2x switching capacity and 3x 40GbE density when compared to Nexus 7018 and Nexus 7010 modules.  The HP HSR 6800 router series combines comprehensive routing, firewall and VPN with a 2 Tbps backplane, into one device that supports thousands of end users.

Rounding out the HP complete, scalable SDN fabric is HP Intelligent Management Center (IMC) Virtual Application Network Resource Automation Manager software. Simplifying management of SDN and traditional network infrastructure operations is achieved with HP IMC SDN Manager, a single tool for configuration monitoring and policy management that spans campus, branch and data center networks.

To help guide customers through the process of making network architecture simpler, scalable and automated, HP has launched three new services. The HP Connectivity Transformation Experience Workshop helps customers achieve network scale and agility with a defined strategy for network transformation that aligns business and IT goals. A IPv6 Roadmap Service helps to develop a transition roadmap to IPv6 by considering all six of the domains affected by this transition – the network, security, infrastructure, applications, governance and finance. Finally, HP Data center Care for Networking offers a single point of contact for reactive support and proactive services that enable customers to quickly resolve network issues, evolve the network to meet changing business needs and reduce IT administrative tasks, allowing them to focus on technology innovation.

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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