HP Offers SDN to Handle Enterprise Mobility

To bring the benefits of software-defined networking (SDN) to campus systems stressed by the demands of today's mobile-ready workplaces, HP announced new hardware and software solutions.

HP said "SDN capabilities allow IT professionals to easily administer network operations and troubleshooting, as well as enforce security policies in a rapid, simplified, agile manner."

Hardware support of those capabilities comes in the new HP 5400R zl2 Switch Series v3 Modules, while software support comes in the new HP Network Visualizer SDN app and enhancements to other HP apps. The new switches come shortly after competing vendors Freescale and Avaya made similar announcements for their respective hardware offerings in advance of the ongoing Interop show in Las Vegas, where HP made its announcement today.

The purpose-built SDN-ready switches support the OpenFlow 1.3 communications protocol and promise lower latency and higher performance than competing products. "Programmable OpenFlow processing pipelines and 10 parallel Advanced Packet Processor engines with dedicated resources provide scalability and flexibility to support the new wave of SDN applications," HP said in a statement.

On the software side, the new HP Network Visualizer SDN app provides real-time visibility into network details to help IT pros monitor traffic and investigate problems. "Administrators can easily identify user complaints without having to identify physical location or IP address, by centering visibility on the user experience rather than the physical network," HP said. "The increased visibility afforded by SDN technology allows for rapid diagnosis and repair of network issues, without requiring additional costly overlay appliances or probes."

To combat the potential increased security risks accompanying SDN deployments, HP said it was enhancing its Network Protector SDN app, which helps enterprises secure their bring-your-own-device (BYOD) environments, with a new Intrusion Prevention System service. It provides "zero-touch dynamic threat protection at the edge of the network" and "consistent business-level policy across the wired and wireless network," HP said.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company also beefed up its Network Optimizer SDN app, which provides automated provisioning of network policies and Quality of Service (QoS) guarantees. "The app now offers media path optimization as well as dynamic traffic periodization based on user or device," HP said. "Other business applications will also be able to take full advantage of HP Network Optimizer through open API integration."

The new switches will be available May 1 at prices ranging from $3,299 to $6,799, while the visualizer app will be available in June.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.