Story image

HP's vision of a less complex enterprise network

25 Apr 12

HP’s Chief Technologist for Data Centre & Core, Mark Pearson, envisions a less complex enterprise network in the future.

He explained at today’s NetEvents conference in Hong Kong that today’s networks and data centres are too rigid. This rigidity is causing the IT departments of corporations and governments to focus too much time on manual provisioning, while they should be focused on applications that drive business outcomes.

HP’s solution is what they're coining Virtual Application Networks, which in turn are based on the concept of software defined networks.

What is software defined networking?

Firmware of network switches and routers ("control plane") have traditionally remained proprietary, locked and under control of companies that manufactured the equipment. SDN seeks to change this disposition, and to make of firmware of the switches and routers ("control plane") remotely accessible and remotely modifiable via third-party software clients, using open protocols such as OpenFlow.     Source: Wikipedia

You can read more about SDN here.

According to HP, over 50% of datacentre workloads are now handled by virtualised server infrastructure. From this, a number of virtualised storage solutions have sprung up which leaves the networking switch as the last major obstacle to a less rigid and more flexible datacentre.

Quite a number of manufacturers outside of HP are behind this move to virtualising the network control plane. The main vehicle for this is a standards body called OpenFlow. Members include Dell, Cisco, Extreme Networks and Brocade amongst many others.

You can read more about OpenFlow here.

The network switching marketplace is worth over US$6 billion per annum globally, with 82% of the marketshare being held by the top three vendors in 2011, according to Gartner. The upside for CIOs of this move to more open networks using SDN, Openflow and Virtualisation is competition. Could it be the final answer to avoid the vendor lock-in currently experienced by enterprises choosing traditional networking infrastructure?

Opinion: Critical data centre operations is just like F1
Schneider's David Gentry believes critical data centre operations share many parallels to a formula 1 race car team.
MulteFire announces industrial IoT network specification
The specification aims to deliver robust wireless network capabilities for Industrial IoT and enterprises.
Google Cloud, Palo Alto Networks extend partnership
Google Cloud and Palo Alto Networks have extended their partnership to include more security features and customer support for all major public clouds.
DigiCert conquers Google's distrust of Symantec certs
“This could have been an extremely disruptive event to online commerce," comments DigiCert CEO John Merrill. 
Schneider Electric's bets for the 2019 data centre industry
From IT and telco merging to the renaissance of liquid cooling, here are the company's top predictions for the year ahead.
China to usurp Europe in becoming AI research world leader
A new study has found China is outpacing Europe and the US in terms of AI research output and growth.
Google says ‘circular economy’ needed for data centres
Google's Sustainability Officer believes major changes are critical in data centres to emulate the cyclical life of nature.
52mil users affected by Google+’s second data breach
Google+ APIs will be shut down within the next 90 days, and the consumer platform will be disabled in April 2019 instead of August 2019 as originally planned.