HP SDN Blitz Includes Datacenter Network Fabric

HP, which already has an extensive software-defined networking product portfolio, is escalating its focus with what it calls the most complete SDN network fabric. “We believe it is the overall architecture for the data center”, said Kash Shaikh, Senior Director, Product & Technical Marketing, HP Networking.

Built on its FlexNetwork architecture, it delivers three key benefits to customers, he said. “The first benefit is simplicity. It’s 70% less complex than other solutions in the market (Cisco).” It’s 2x more scalable, and automated, and “applications can be deployed in minutes instead of months.”

This month HP joined with arch-enemy Cisco and a host of other vendors, including Big Switch Networks, Brocade, Citrix, Ericsson, IBM, Juniper Networks, Microsoft, NEC, Red Hat and VMware, on the OpenDaylight Project (SDN) inside the Linux Foundation. A month earlier, an HP Webcast detailed the company’s SDN strategy, including its belief that [http://www.zdnet.com/hp-software-defined-networking-enterprise-wide-in-2015-7000012501/] SDNs will be deployed enterprise-wide in 2015 and represents a $2 billion market in 2016.

HP has been involved with SDN from the start, working with Stanford back in 2007 before SDN was SDN (Ethane), said Shaikh. In 2008 HP Labs delivered its first demo software, and by 2010 had 60 R&D customers. “That was six years before our competitor started talking about SDN.”

The need for SDN is growing. Legacy datacenter networks are too manually based, which increases costs, complexity and slows down business, and they are not scalable, said Shaikh. “We now have 40 switches in our portfolio that our OpenFlow capable… (and) continue to lead the market… including the first datacenter switch with OpenFlow 1.3.”

HP is claiming another first with its FlexFabric 12900 Switch Series, which manages bandwidth spikes with the built-in networking standard Transparent Interconnection of Lots of Links (TRILL), that moves up to three-times more data across the network per 40-gigabit Ethernet (GbE) port compared to leading competitors. “We’re the first to deliver it… (and) it really delivers the scalability needed for virtual environments.”

HP’s standards-based approach means that if they provide OpenFlow capability on its switches, it can deploy third-party controllers that support OpenFlow. “It does not require rip and replace.” Customers can start small and grow when and where required, said Shaikh. “The overarching strategy is simplification… through standard-based innovation.”

Pricing and availability:

-HP HSR 6800 Router Series is available for a starting price of $46,000;

-HP FlexFabric 5900 switch series is available today starting at $14,990;

-HP FlexFabric 11900 Core Switch to be available in June for a starting price of $83,000;

-HP FlexFabric 1000 vSwitch to be available in October, with pricing to be determined;

-HP FlexFabric 12900 Core Switch to be available in October, no pricing;

-HP VSR Series to be available in the second half of 2013, no pricing;

-HP IMC Virtual Application Network Resource Automation Manager to be available in December, no pricing; and,

-HP IMC SDN Manager is expected to be available in December, no pricing.


Author: Steve Wexler

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