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How do you achieve SDN App Dev agility and ROI?

By Stacey King, HP Global SDN Alliances Marketing Manager, HP Networking


Stacey KingMy previous post “The proof is in the SDN Applications” highlighted how HP’s open SDN ecosystem provides customers more SDN applications to choose from and alliance partners more opportunities to develop innovative solutions to take to market.   In that post I also shared the exciting first wave of ready to test alliance partner applications.


In this post, I thought I’d dive into app development by sharing some of the valuable features of our HP Virtual Application Networks (VAN) SDN Controller and the ways we help our alliance partners achieve SDN app dev success.


Open SDN Architecture and Development Environment

Hopefully you’re aware that the HP SDN architecture, including the HP Virtual Application Network (VAN) SDN Controller, is aligned with the ONF definition of SDN.  So why should this matter?  It matters because it provides a solid development platform that allows you to create applications that can dynamically control and program the network using open standards that ensure your application could later be ported to work with other controllers.  HP believes the ease in developing through our platform far outweighs the struggle of having to conform to proprietary models for SDN.

Add high-availability features, reliability, enterprise support, plus a comprehensive alliance partner program, and you have an even more attractive platform to develop optimum solutions without the downside associated with total vendor lock-in. 


The HP VAN SDN Controller Architecture 

The HP VAN SDN Controller software is the main building block for the HP Open SDN Ecosystem.  It provides open API options to develop applications for proactive or reactive network control or flow processing.  Extensible RESTful APIs enable the development of “external” applications, in any programming language, that run on the server platform of your choice while utilizing the HP VAN SDN Controller to exert proactive, deliberate, and automated control and monitoring of the network.


In addition, the HP VAN SDN Controller provides native Java APIs to build more dynamic “internal” applications that can run on the controller platform, where packets can be received, analyzed, and acted upon automatically.  Policies can be dynamically enhanced and implemented based on automated analysis.   Internal applications also offer higher performance event and packet processing by running within the VAN SDN Controller and are accessible via the controller’s web-based GUI.  Internal apps can also extend the RESTful API with extensions of their own.


The HP VAN SDN Controller provides even more unique application development advantages that also translate to customer advantages, such as:

  • Integrated documentation and consistent APIs assuring greater application reliability
  • Scale-out architecture that allows for simplified expansion beyond a single standalone controller to teams of controllers in a high-availability cluster
  • Persistent data that is automatically shared among multiple controllers for large or demanding networks
  • Flexible high-performance packet processing for both OpenFlow and traditional network infrastructure

The door is always open at the HP SDN Dev Center for you to explore the HP SDN application development environment.


How are we enabling our SDN alliance partners? 

As I am sure you know, developing applications is no small feat, especially with the complexities that come from developing for SDN at this time.  Developing SDN applications requires a balance of network engineering and application development skills.  We aim to help you develop both and bridge the gap.


Bridging the expertise gap

We are offering our alliance partners early access to SDN App Dev training in the HP ExpertOne 4-day training course Developing SDN Applications.  This course leads to the industry’s first certification of its kind, the HP ASE – SDN Application Developer certification.  We have already had dozens of individuals from over 10 partner organizations attend the first delivery of this brand new, comprehensive, hands-on training.   Many more will be attending the next two sessions scheduled for Europe and the Middle East in May.  


I personally heard Michael Worlund of Kemp Technologies say, the course was “….amazing and enabled a great balance between software developers and network engineers…”.   Take a look at this SearchSDN, TechTarget article by Shamus McGillicuddy who explains what he learned from his conversation with Michael.  Thanks again Michael for sharing your views!  Contact the HP SDN Alliance Team email below if you are interested in the next training opportunities.  


We have also hosted a couple SDN Developer Workshops, one in December 2013 and one the day after the Open Networking Summit conference last month in March, both in California, which provided one full day of SDN App Dev enablement.  These workshops included a high-level version of the 4-day training, including one sample app build, and an opportunity to meet our SDN engineers.



We’ve had 24 alliance partner organizations, with over 50 attendees, participate in these workshops.  


Access to a live SDN Test Lab

We will soon be offering our alliance partners exclusive access to a live, fully equipped Remote SDN Lab to test their applications with a real OpenFlow enabled environment, saving time and money over building such an environment internally.  For those partners that want to get started in their own labs, the AllianceOne program offers hardware for development at an aggressive discount.


Open for business

We not only want to enable our alliance partners to innovate with amazing new SDN applications, we want to help bring these applications, and related services, to market via the HP SDN App Store.  We will also be working with our partners on other joint marketing and sales activities. We want to make SDN solutions easy to find and to implement. We just launched our first wave of SDN Apps at Interop Las Vegas via a preview of the SDN App Store and demos with our partners.  We are also hosting information about these apps, including a video demo, on our HP Networking Alliance Partner SDN App Showcase at .   Make sure to join us at HP Discover in June to witness the launch of the live SDN App Store and even more real SDN Apps solving real customer problems in efficient ways just not possible before. 



>> Learn more about the HP Open SDN Ecosystem, including a sampling of our SDN alliance partners, at

>> Dive into the HP SDN development environment at

>> Join or learn more about the HP AllianceOne Networking Specialization Program at 

>> Contact the HP SDN Alliances team at


>> For more information visit 

>> Follow HP Networking on Twitter and Google+| Join HPN LinkedIn Community | Like us HPN Facebook 


>> Register to receive the HP Networking newsletter

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