HP's Vision for Virtual Application Networks

With the Open Networking Summit and Interop just around the corner, HP unveiled the networking portion of its Converged Cloud initiative. The network portion is highlighted by the introduction of Virtual Application Networks, that build upon HP's FlexNetwork Architecture, and will cover data center, campus, and branch network environments to enable the rapid delivery of applications to end-users. Virtual Application Networks are logical, purpose-built virtual networks designed to connect users to applications and services, resulting in a scalable, agile, and secure network that streamlines operations.

Many of you are probably wondering, do we really need a new network architecture? The short answer is yes. The timing for deploying a new network architecture may depend on your environment, but ESG research clearly paints the picture that current architectures and processes will not be sufficient moving forward. Given the trends to consolidate data centers, increase the use of server virtualization technology, deploy SOA or Web based applications and demand driven by mobile devices, organizations will need to re-think how the network will support future business needs. The larger and more complex your environment, the more likely you are to be looking for a new approach. Add integration with public cloud services and it is easy to see that legacy architectures and manual process will not scale to meet business demands. ESG refers to this as Network Discontinuity. Respondents to ESG research surveys tend to agree, reporting network security, network performance, and network management as their top three challenges. The data also indicates that 2012 will see increased spending for networks and hiring of network administrators as organizations try to keep up with demand.

Therefore ESG believes a new "cloud-friendly" architecture will be required-one that supports massive scale, can handle dynamic environments based on business and IT policies, and provide sufficient levels of automation and orchestration for rapid software-based deployment of end-to-end services. More specifically the network must become the foundation for high performance end-to-end connectivity, highly virtualized, tightly integrated to adjacent domain and leverage automation and orchestration when possible.

HP's new capabilities and vision are focused on delivering against those requirements. Starting with a solution for the data center, HP claims it will be able to provision the network to support a new application in as little as 5 minutes, instead of several weeks. Organizations will be able to add these capabilities to their own data centers starting in June with offerings for the campus and branch to follow.

You can read Bob's other blog entries at Data Center Continuum.

Topics: IT Infrastructure Networking Cloud Services & Orchestration