It’s still very early days in the software-defined networking (SDN) market. But HP, one of the first players to bring an actual product into the space, has made a bold move to build on that advantage by announcing the first enterprise-class SDN open ecosystem in the industry. In combination with the HP SDN Developer Kit (SDK) and the HP SDN App Store, HP hopes to create new business opportunities for partners, and provide a simple way for customers to purchase and deploy network services.
SDN is a technology approach that aims to provide more agility and flexibility to enterprise networks. HP also wants SDN to be an open ecosystem, on which its software partners can provide overlay network services. Legacy network rollout typically requires months of extensive ‘human middleware’ and customisation, delaying potential application deployment while limiting agility. SDN promises to automate network operations, however closed. Proprietary SDN technologies inhibit innovation, prevent interoperability and limit creation of a marketplace. An open SDN ecosystem and application development platform can unlock innovation as well as enable collaboration.
The HP SDN Developer Kit provides developers the essential tools to create, test and validate SDN applications, leveraging HP’s SDN infrastructure and full complement of support services. The HP SDN App Store lets customers browse, search, purchase and directly download SDN applications onto their Virtual Application Networks SDN controller, creating 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 monumental leap forward,” says Prakash Krishnamoorthy, Country Manager, HP Networking India. “HP has created the industry’s most comprehensive SDN product portfolio as well as 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, Microsoft, MIMOS, PwC, Qosmos, Radware, Real Status, Riverbed, RMIT University, ShoreTel Inc., SAP, Tech Mahindra, VMware, Versatile and Websense.
The numbers vary widely, depending upon the source, but IDC predicts the SDN market will be worth $3.7 billion by 2016, driven by the growing need for scalability and network programmability. Two newer reports state the market will be worth $3.52 billion by 2018, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 61.5 per cent from 2012 to 2018, and that SDN and NFV (network functions virtualisation) are poised to revolutionise carrier OSS and profoundly change the way service providers manage their networks.
A couple of months ago a Brocade study highlighted just why SDN is generating such interest. While 75 per cent of enterprises have updated their IT environments in the last three years, 91 per cent of IT decision-makers stated that their current IT infrastructures still require substantial upgrades, and 33 per cent admitted that their organisations experience multiple network failures each week. More than half, 61 per cent, said their corporate networks are not fit for the intended purpose, with 41 per cent admitting that network downtime has caused their business financial hardship either directly through lost revenue or breached SLAs or from their customers’ lack of confidence.
“HP has created the industry’s most comprehensive SDN product portfolio as well as an open SDN ecosystem, which offers an environment for enterprises and partners to rapidly tune the network to their business and application needs”Prakash Krishnamoorthy
Fostering Innovation Through an Open Ecosystem
The HP SDN Developer Kit provides HP AllianceOne partners, as well as independent software developers, access to the tools necessary to develop, simulate and validate enterprise-grade SDN applications to sell on the HP SDN App Store.
These tools enable partners to:
- Quickly develop new applications directly on the HP VAN SDN controller using API documentation, developer guide and sample code;
- Test application functionality and interoperability in a ready-made environment that simulates user conditions, with the SDN simulation suite and HP SDN Virtual Lab;
- Validate newly created applications to meet HP’s enterprise-grade standards through the HP SDN Validation Test.
- Alongside these resources on HP.com are SDN developer forums that encourage collaboration including creation of private working groups and support services from HP.
HP is introducing an SDN Learning Journey curriculum and SDN Certification, as part of the its ExpertOne programme. The Learning Journey curriculum has three defined steps to prepare, engage and deliver SDN solutions. It combines traditional networks with SDN architectures
Streamlining Go-to-Market Through an Open Marketplace
HP SDN App Store creates an open marketplace for ecosystem partners to sell SDN applications which customers can deploy on their network with a few simple mouse clicks. The SDN App Store will include applications developed by HP, applications jointly-developed with partners, and partner-certified and community-created applications.
The HP SDN App Store delivers the front- and back-end infrastructure necessary for an online store, avoiding additional investment for ecosystem partners. Every application sold through the HP SDN App Store is approved by HP, ensuring they are enterprise-grade SDN applications. Enterprise customers create a secure, private portal accessible only by employees to download and run the HP VAN SDN controller via their private server environment for customers.
To complement this open SDN ecosystem, HP has added OpenFlow support to 10 new routers in the HP FlexNetwork portfolio, including the HP MSR2000, 3000, 4000 and HP Virtual Services Router (VSR) Series routers. These additions build on the existing OpenFlow enabled portfolio of 50 switches, representing more than 25 million installed ports.
“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 that they meet HP’s strict performance standards for enterprise-grade SDN deployments”Bethany Mayer
SDN Services Focused on People, Process and Technology
HP Technology Services offers new design, implementation and support services to help build and deploy enterprise SDN solutions that address customer needs for agile, flexible network services that are aligned with their organisation. The new offering, combined with HP SDN strategy services, delivers a holistic, pragmatic approach to customers’ software-defined networking transformation. New services include:
- HP SDN Developer Support – offers 24×7 technical phone support and priority knowledge forum response for best practices and troubleshooting for SDN developers;
- HP SDN Apps Services and Support – helps customers improve their experience and achieve desired outcomes with applications such as Sentinel and unified communications and collaboration;
- Services and Support for HP OpenFlow products – offers a comprehensive portfolio of services to incorporate OpenFlow enabled products as part of a pragmatic approach to realise the benefits of SDN.
Preparing IT Staff to Manage SDN Environments
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, the company is introducing an SDN Learning Journey curriculum and SDN Certification, as part of the HP ExpertOne programme.