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HP 'powering two guys in a garage'

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The growing number of third-party apps indicates SDN is becoming more relevant, says Mike Banic, vice-president of marketing for HP Networking.
The growing number of third-party apps indicates SDN is becoming more relevant, says Mike Banic, vice-president of marketing for HP Networking.

HP has unveiled what it claims is the industry's first enterprise-class software-defined networking (SDN) open ecosystem, with the introduction the HP SDN Developer Kit (SDK) and the HP SDN App Store.

HP says the store will create new business opportunities for partners, and provide a simple way for customers to purchase and deploy network services.

"Legacy network rollout typically requires months of extensive 'human middleware' and customisation, delaying potential application deployment while limiting agility." SDN, says the company, will enable automation of network operations - whereas closed, proprietary SDN technologies "inhibit innovation, prevent interoperability and limit creation of a marketplace".

Disruptive innovation

The HP SDK provides developers with tools to create, test and validate SDN applications, while the HP SDN App Store lets customers browse, search, purchase and directly download SDN applications onto their virtual application networks SDN controller. "[This effectively creates] a new business model for how network services are purchased and implemented."

"With SDN, the networking industry has an opportunity to disruptively innovate and is now primed for a leap forward," says Bethany Mayer, senior vice-president and general manager of networking at HP.

"HP has created a comprehensive SDN product portfolio and an open SDN ecosystem, which offers an environment for enterprises and partners to rapidly tune the network to their business and application needs."

Current SDN ecosystem partners registered for the HP SDN Developer Kit include Aastra, Blue Coat Systems, BlueCat, Citrix Systems, Ecode Networks, F5, Infoblox, Infranics, Intel, KT Cloud, Microsoft, MIMOS, Mitel, NTT, PwC, Qosmos, Radware, Real Status, Riverbed, RMIT University, ShoreTel, Samsung, SAP, Tech Mahindra, VMware, Versatile and Websense.

Application-driven

Mike Banic, vice-president of marketing for HP networking, says the SDN App Store was developed taking lessons from Android and Apple stores - creating a familiar virtual locale for the consumer.

Alongside HP's SDK features, the company has introduced SDN developer forums that encourage collaboration on HP.com. "[This includes the] creation of private working groups and support services from HP."

Rohit Mehra, vice-president of network infrastructure at IDC, says applications are what will drive SDN technology into mainstream networking prominence. "The catch-22 is that innovating through applications requires a large investment in infrastructure to develop, which becomes prohibitive. The advent of an SDN App Store, together with an SDN Developer Kit, makes this an accessible alternative for developers."

The HP SDN Development Kit, says Banic, was ultimately created for development, simulation, certification and collaboration - "powering two guys in a garage".

Software schooling

To prepare IT professionals to navigate the changes in skill sets needed to handle the way SDN solutions are changing how networks are built, programmed and managed, HP says it is introducing an SDN Learning Journey curriculum and SDN Certification, as part of its ExpertOne programme.

The HP SDN Learning Journey curriculum has three defined steps to prepare, engage and deliver SDN solutions. It combines traditional networks with SDN architectures.

"Through the HP SDN Certification, IT architects, managers and application developers are assured they meet HP's strict performance standards for enterprise-grade SDN deployments."

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