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October 3, 2012

HP takes on Cisco, Juniper with new SDN portfolio

Enterprises and cloud providers can shorten and exploit agility across data centre campus and branch networks

By CBR Staff Writer

HP has released a new open standards-based application for software-defined networks (SDN) incorporating infrastructure, control software, and application layers with a single control plane, in a bid to compete in the growing SDN market currently dominated by Cisco and Juniper.

According to the firm, the new application will allow enterprises and cloud providers to shorten and exploit agility across data centre campus and branch networks.

HP Networking senior vice president and general manager Bethany Mayer said the company’s SDN solution will automate manual configuration tasks across hardware, software and applications and from data centre to desktop through a single control plane.

"In the cloud era, clients need a single point of control for the entire network, which enables them to deploy any application or service directly to the user within minutes," Mayer said.

HP FlexNet, the solution’s infrastructure layer, incorporates OpenFlow, which is a programmable networking protocol that automates hardware configuration and is claimed to offer clients with simplified network configuration.

HP has also released nine additional switch models that offer OpenFlow support.

The new HP virtual application networks SDN controller in the control-software layer will help in creating a centralised view of the network by abstracting the physical hardware from the logical deployment and will automate network configuration of all devices within the infrastructure.

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Further, by removing various manual command-line interface (CLI) entries, the controller will facilitate network administrators in programming and scaling their network environment for single-touch automated applications.

HP revealed that controller will allow to third-party developers to incorporate custom enterprise applications by offering application programme interfaces (APIs).

The application layer, incorporating HP Virtual Cloud Networks software, allow cloud providers to deliver automated and scalable public cloud services to enterprises.

The software also enables enterprises to develop an isolated virtual cloud network environment through a self-service public cloud infrastructure and offer complete control for delivering new services and applications to their clients.

Within the application layer, HP’s new Sentinel Security software application will mechanise network access control and interference prevention security for enterprise campus networks with the current OpenFlow-enabled switch hardware through controller.

Further, clients would be allowed to discard the complexity and expenditure of dedicated networking hardware appliances, while supporting bring-your-own-device (BYOD) initiatives.

According to HP, SDN services will be offered globally in early 2013.

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