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SDN and all that jazz

Martin Visser

Martin_Visser.pngIn case you haven't been watching, there is a real shift in the enterprise computing space towards virtualisation. We can now affordably deploy an application per server - where the server is really a virtual machine, and using virtual storage connected to other virtual machines. There are number of mature approaches with products like VMware, Hyper-V and Linux KVM.

What hasn't scaled with this as well has been in the networking space. Sure we have VLANs and MPLS and multple device contexts in our routers and switches (and firewalls). But it has all been a little clunky when it comes to orchestrating the configuration of these, particularly as we see compute space going ahead in leaps and bounds in the area of cloud based services. That is all changing.


This week at Interop in New York, HP Networking is launching a whole bunch of updates and new services in the Software Defined Networking (SDN) area (amongst other things). I have been watching the development of OpenFlow and HPN's new VAN (Virtual Application Network) SDN Controller, announced this month, looks to be the "bees knees". Not only will it integrate with the large number of HPN routers and switches running OpenFlow, but it's open APIs have already seen the likes of BlueCoat, F5, Riverbed and VMware registering their interest in participating. I'm really looking forward to seeing deployments where we have coordination amongst all of the "gears in the machine" that are a part today's enterprise network. 


HPN also have a new FlexFabric Virtual Switch 5900V which can run within your VMware host (and when hooked up with a top of rack 5900AF) will provide a nice rack level virtual network solution. And if you need more than switching in your virtual host, then look no further than the VSR1000 Virtual Services Router for running on VMware and KVM. This runs "proper" Comware 7 so all of your normal routing features and protocols will be there running in the same environment.


All in all, I can see a real transformation in the way we roll out enterprise networks, with some nicely integrated SDN solutions.  Once all wired up, you will have a great deal of flexibility to compartmentalise as well as scale up the solution to meet both security and growth requirements in the enterprise.

I would have loved to get over to Interop to see all this being demonstrated. Meanwhile I have got to get my current MPLS/VPLS/802.1x project up and running and in production!


To learn more about me and how I can support your network initiatives in all phases from analysis to implementation, visit my HP Technology Expert profile.


More SDN Resources


Read more about HP's approach to SDN and how we can help you reignite innovation in your network.


HP white paper (pdf download): Software-defined Networking: A Pragmatic Approach to Increasing the Responsiveness of Your Network


HP newsletter with Gartner research (pdf download): Simplified and Agile Networks:  A Platform for Innovation


Free on-demand Webcast: Software-defined Network: HP Networking + HP Services


HP Brief: Transform to an Agile, Dynamically Responsive Network with the HP Connectivity Transformation Experience Workshop (pdf download)






Regards, Martin
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About the Author

Martin Visser


Martin Visser

Oh, and you can see the HP announcements for Interop here

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