HP Kicks Off Discover With New SDN Switches, Network Virtualization App


Hewlett-Packard Monday bolstered its software-defined networking portfolio with a new line of FlexFabric data center switches and an open-source network virtualization solution that will be delivered as part of its HP Helion OpenStack distribution.

HP also introduced a set of professional services aimed at helping customers migrate their networks to SDN technology.

HP's new SDN offerings were unveiled Monday at the HP Discover event, taking place this week in Las Vegas.

[Related: HP Unleashes 12 New Enterprise Products At HP Discover]

At the forefront of the new products is the HP Virtual Cloud Networking SDN Application, an open-source network virtualization solution that HP said will drive the networking component of its OpenStack Helion distribution.

According to Kash Shaikh, Global Marketing Leader, HP Networking, the HP Virtual Cloud Networking SDN Application allows an organization to create a dedicated, isolated network for each of its private or hybrid clouds. It's aimed at the enterprise and at cloud service providers, who can use the software to accelerate the delivery of the unique SLAs and applications associated with each of their cloud environments.

"It will provide isolated networks for either private cloud environments in medium to large enterprises, or for cloud service providers when they are providing cloud services to multiple clients or customers," Shaikh said.

The HP Virtual Cloud Networking SDN Application is designed to run on HP's Virtual Application Networks SDN Controller. Shaikh said the software would be available in August as part of HP Helion OpenStack.

Chad Williams, vice president of research and engineering at Matrix Integration, a Jasper, Ind.-based HP partner, said solutions such as the HP Virtual Cloud Networking SDN Application suggest HP is investing heavily in the network virtualization market. He also applauded HP's increasing support of OpenStack. 

"I mean, number one for us, when we use the word 'OpenStack,' that’s a very big thing for us because of the capability and the support it has for basically all platforms,” Williams said. "HP's specific virtual cloud networking SDN application that they are coming out with, in my mind, this is very similar to what VMware did 10 years ago for the server side of things, but taking it down to the network."

David Hall, senior vice president of infrastructure solutions at CompuCom, a Dallas-based HP partner, agreed that HP's investments in OpenStack are a big differentiator when it comes to both its cloud and SDN strategy.

"You hear a number of different things from different customers as to why they support [OpenStack]," Hall said. "Primarily, it boils down to a few things. One is that it gives a higher level of comfort that they are not being locked into a specific OEM or technology. It gives them more flexibility and agility in their approach to market."

NEXT: Introducing HP FlexFabric 7900 Switches