HP and VMware, Inc. today announced plans to collaborate to deliver a federated network solution, designed to provide customers unified automation of, and visibility into, their physical and virtual data centre networks, enabling business agility and improving business continuity.
As companies embrace cloud and mobility, manual network configuration has proven time and resource intensive, as well as error prone. Network virtualisation offers a centralised control plane, but does not automate configuration and provisioning of physical network devices.
The new HP-VMware networking solution will federate the HP Virtual Application Networks SDN Controller with the VMware NSX™ network virtualisation platform to provide customers with an integrated approach to automating their physical and virtual network infrastructure. The networking solution will provide a centralised view, unified automation, visibility and control of the complete data centre network, improving agility, monitoring and troubleshooting.
According to Gartner analyst Joe Skorupa, “A hybrid model blends the device-based and the overlay models, transparently mixing physical and virtual devices under a common control plane. This approach promises a rapid time to value, support for bare-metal endpoints (servers, networking, security appliances and so forth) and a smooth migration to an optimal mix of endpoints.” (2)
“Networks must be agile enough to enable the adoption of cloud and mobility while ensuring continuity,” said Raymond Maisano, country manager, HP Networking, Enterprise Group, HP South Pacific. “Building upon our SDN leadership, the HP-VMware networking solution unifies visibility and automation of the physical and virtual network with a common control plane, enabling new application and service delivery in minutes rather than months.”
The HP Virtual Application Networks SDN Controller also will include support for VMware Open vSwitch Database (OVSDB) management protocol. This enables HP FlexFabric top-of-rack switches to participate in the automated provisioning of the virtual network, which will be delivered by VMware NSX network virtualisation platform.
“Customers are adopting network virtualisation to gain the necessary agility needed to realise the promise of virtualised and cloud data centres. To be successful, IT organisations need solutions to deliver common management of services and operations across the physical and virtual domains,” said Stephen Mullaney, senior vice president and general manager, networking and security business unit, VMware. “By collaborating with HP on a federated networking solution, we will help our joint customers create a unified network operations model that will radically simplify IT in the software-defined data centre.”
HP also introduced the HP 5930 top-of-rack switch with built-in intelligence based on VXLAN technology, extending network virtualisation to the servers, and allowing customers to leverage their virtual and physical networks to work together as one entity.
The new HP ConvergedControl software application runs on the HP Virtual Application Networks SDN controller and unifies the visibility and control of the virtual and physical networks by leveraging the HP Intelligent Management Center (IMC), which is already integrated with VMware vCenter. This creates a single point of control for both networks, while simplifying management.
HP 5930 is expected to be available worldwide in December 2013 while the HP-VMware networking solution and HP ConvergedControl are expected to be available worldwide in the second half of 2014.