HP is kicking off this week’s Interop Las Vegas with a set of cloud-managed, SDN-enabled unified wired and wireless networking solutions intended to increase agility and simplify the network. The announcements are focused on enhancing some of its mobility offerings, enhancements around wired/wireless, including extending SDN, said Steve Brar, Manager, Global Product Marketing, Networking, HP. “We really feel this is addressing a lot of the key trends… cloud… SDN… wireless…”
The announcements include: HP Cloud Managed Network Solution, to be available in June; HP 560 802.11ac Access Points are available now for $1,199; HP 517 Unified 802.11ac Wall Jack will be available in May for $499; HP 870 Unified Wired-WLAN Appliance is available now for $35,999; the HP 850 Unified Wired-WLAN Appliance will be available in June; and the HP Intelligent Management Center MDM Integration is available now. Also announced were: HP SDN Roadmap Services, HP Secure BYOD Services, and IP Address Management Services.
The new solutions simplify behind-the-scenes network management, provide better mobile end-user experiences, delivered at triple the speed, said Brar. In addition, combining SDN with HP’s unified wired and wireless network offerings opens the door for new business opportunities, enabling organizations to monetize their networks.
“Enterprises need adaptable, robust, easily deployed and secure wireless LAN solutions as more users are accessing the enterprise network via mobile devices while increasingly using these devices for mission-critical applications,” Rohit Mehra, VP, Network Infrastructure, IDC, in a prepared statement. “SDN-based and cloud managed wireless solutions will provide tools that offer network managers greater flexibility and scalability and, more importantly, programmability of networking resources to support the needs of their businesses.”
The SDN numbers are over the place, with forecasts ranging from $3.7 billion by 2016 to as high as $35 billion by 2018. While 2014 won’t be the Year of SDN, it will see a rise in popularity as early adopter companies realize the ability to deploy vendor solutions, said Alan Conley, CTO at Zenoss, and former CTO of Cisco’s Network Management Technology Group.
The interest in SDN is exploding, according to a recent survey from Enterprise Strategy Group. Only 10% of organizations either have no interest or are not familiar enough with SDN to have a position; of the other 90%, 39% are in the planning and evaluation stage, 27% have begun implementations, and the remaining 24% say they’re interested but have no SDN initiatives underway.
“It’s reflective of the fact that organizations need to change the way they’re doing networking today,” Bob Laliberte, senior analyst with ESG. “Everyone’s hoping SDN will help them make that change.”
According to Infonetics Research 4th quarter 2013 Service Provider Routers and Switches report, SDN was the main reason that revenue was down 4% from the same period a year ago. “Major change is in the air as carriers of all sizes proceed cautiously with router and switch spending, in part because they are trialing SDN (software- defined networking) or just beginning to figure out how to proceed with SDN,” said Michael Howard, principal analyst for carrier networks and Infonetics co-founder.
“The fourth quarter is usually an indicator for the current year and sometimes a bellwether for the future. In the most recent quarter (4Q13), North America had a double-digit sequential decline in carrier router/switch revenue rather than the usual budget flush, with weakness coming mostly from Verizon and AT&T, among the global leaders of SDN activities.”
Another recent survey, from the Linux Foundation’s OpenDaylight Project, via Gigaom Research, reported that 95% of networking pros want open-source software-defined networking technologies. More than half of the 600 respondents intend to deploy SDN and NFV in 2014, and 97% by 2015, driven by concerns about security (72%), network utilization (64%), network deployment and management (62%), and network operating expense (61%).
It’s not about WHAT or WHY, just WHEN with respect to SDN/NFV adoption, said Sarwar Raza, chairperson of the Northbound Interfaces (NBI) Working Group of the Open Networking Foundation (ONF). “They are real technology ‘game-changers’, he said. “The economics are compelling, and the technology is catching up. And, NFV orchestrated using SDN principles is just…logical.”
Raza, whose day job is Director of Cloud Networking and SDN in the Advanced Technology Group within HP’s Networking organization, said every year, the industry convenes to see incremental, measurable progress towards the promised land of SDN. “This is a journey, a transformational experience that we will look back upon years from now as a seismic shift for our industry… [But] we’re making great progress, by any measure.”
HP has been involved with SDN since before it was known as SDN – 2007’s Ethane – and announced the HP SDN Developer Kit (SDK) and the HP SDN App Store, as well as a suite of services and certifications at last year’s Interop New York. At the start of March HP announced it was collaborating with NEC to deliver SDN-enabled networking solutions to enterprise customers.
March was also when the HP Access Catalog, a Software-as-a-Service-based “app store” for end users to browse, search and download mobile applications and digital content onto Android, iOS and Windows-based mobile and tablet devices, as well as desktops, was due to ship. A component of the HP Anywhere enterprise mobility platform, it uses the same technology supporting the HP Vertica Marketplace, an online store.
It’s no surprise that like SDN, mobility is generating a huge amount of interest, with the primary difference being a lot of it is happening right now. There are now more than a billion smartphones being used, each downloading an average of 70 mobile apps last year. According to the Cisco Visual Networking Index Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast for 2013 to 2018, mobile data traffic will increase nearly 11-fold over the next four years (to 190 exabytes annually by 2018), and three times the pace of fixed traffic growth over this period.
The new SDN announcements are driven by both vendor push and customer pull, said Brar. “HP has been one of the leaders in OpenFlow… and been one of the most aggressive vendors implementing OpenFlow.”
The new apps they’re bringing out are making it real. Customers are asking for it and it’s evolving from more of a push to more of a balance, he said. “A number of customers recognize the benefits of SDN and they don’t want to be locked out.”
The Fiddly Bits (& Bytes)
HP Cloud-Managed Network Solution: Addresses the complexity of legacy network infrastructure by providing a simple and easy-to-manage network solution for small campus or branch environments on-premise and in the cloud.
HP 560 & 517 IEEE 802.11ac Wireless Access Points: SDN-enabled access points offer network agility and enable organizations to support the growing number of mobile devices in the workplace.
HP 870 & 850 Unified Wired-WLAN Appliances: New controller appliances deliver consistent policy across wired and wireless networks, and eliminate “swivel chair management.”
LocationAware SDN Application: Provides accurate indoor location of mobile devices down to two square meters, helping businesses transform wireless LAN infrastructure into a revenue generating vehicle.
SmartShopper SDN Application: HP has developed a technology prototype application, SmartShopper, that demonstrates how a retail customer can monetize their network and improve the customer experience by delivering real-time, dynamic retail analytics.
Availability and pricing:
-HP Cloud Managed Network Solution, to be available in June;
-HP 560 802.11ac Access Points are available now for $1,199;
-HP 517 Unified 802.11ac Wall Jack will be available in May for $499;
-HP 870 Unified Wired-WLAN Appliance is available now for $35,999;
-HP 850 Unified Wired-WLAN Appliance will be available in June; and
-HP Intelligent Management Center MDM Integration is available now.