In order to understand HP‘s SDN vision, I interviewed Kash Shaikh. Kash is the senior director of product and technical marketing at HP. I kicked off the interview by asking Kash where he saw the networking market going in the next couple of years. Kash stated that networks have been relatively static for decades but that in order to address current requirements, the approach of software-defined networking (SDN) is being developed. Kash referred to SDN as being disruptive, and he added that one of the key benefits of SDN is that it enables network agility.
Given the importance that Kash placed on SDN, I asked him to describe HP’s SDN strategy. Kash said that HP’s SDN solutions are based on open standards such as OpenFlow and that they are focused on branch and campus networks as well as on data-center networks. Another point he raised was that HP includes management as part of its SDN solution.
I then asked Kash how HP’s strategy differs from other vendors’ SDN strategies. He said that one of the key differences is that HP has already announced OpenFlow support on 40 switches and have shipped more than 20 million switch ports that are OpenFlow capable. Kash pointed out that HP will release an SDN controller this year and that HP already has several SDN-based applications working in customers’ production networks. He added that HP’s Intelligent Management Center (IMC) enables IT organizations to manage all of the layers of a software-defined network.
I closed the interview with Kash by asking him what recommendation he had for what customers should do now if they think that they might want to implement SDN at some time in the future. Kash’s recommendation was that those customers should equip their networks with OpenFlow-enabled switches.
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