HP advances software-defined networks

‘Single control plane’ abstraction slickens network automation, says company

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HP advances software-defined networks In the cloud era, clients need a single point of control: Qadan
By  Stephen McBride Published  October 21, 2012

HP today announced what it claims to be "the industry's first open-standards-based software-defined network (SDN) technologies to span infrastructure, control software and application layers".

Based upon HP internal comparative analysis of publicly available data from major competitors, the company said the technologies provided a "single control plane" that enabled enterprises and cloud providers to simplify and maximise agility across data centre, campus and branch networks.

"To solve the challenges created by legacy networks, organisations need the ability to automate the network from end to end by leveraging SDN to abstract the control plane from the physical infrastructure," said Joe Skorupa, vice president and analyst, Gartner.

"For maximum performance, utilisation and simplicity, customers must ensure that there is a suite of SDN technologies across the entire network - from the hardware infrastructure to the control plane to the applications, and also from the data center to the desktop - in order to move beyond today's complexities and improve business agility across the enterprise."

As companies move to cloud and other computing environments, manual configuration of networks through command-line interface (CLI) coding has proven to be error prone, as well as time and resource intensive. SDN overlay-point products offer a centralised control plane, but fall short by not enabling automated configuration of network infrastructure or providing SDN applications to roll out new services for campus and branch networks. This incomplete approach creates complexity and unnecessary manual coding requirements. 

HP said the technologies announced today "cover all layers by including an SDN controller, and SDN applications, services and solutions that further strengthen HP's Virtual Application Networks strategy".

"In the cloud era, clients need a single point of control for the entire network, which enables them to deploy any application or service directly to the user within minutes," said Fawwaz Qadan, networking director, HP Middle East, Mediterranean and Africa. 

"Only HP provides clients with a complete software-defined network solution that automates manual configuration tasks across hardware, software and applications and from data centre to desktop through a single control plane."

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