By Kash Shaikh, Director of Product Marketing, HP Networking
While the explosion of cloud has created new opportunities for you, it has also introduced a new set of challenges for IT leaders and administrators like you. With clouds you need speed of application deployment without comprise. It takes up to months to deploy applications with legacy networks, this is not speed without compromise.
On April 10, 2012, we announced HP Virtual Application Networks, HP’s software-defined networking strategy – a technology that can speeds up Cloud application deployment from months to minutes. This is achieved using templates to characterize application-delivery requirements and deliver an automated, policy-driven approach to network configuration.
Solving cloud challenges from Layer 2 through Layer 7
1. Speed up application deployment at Layer 2-Layer4
Let’s start with the tools that a server administrator uses. He uses tools that allow him to manage with policy. He has sophisticated tools and when he needs to connect to the network, that’s where the delay comes in and it takes weeks.
Just look at the questions that a network administrator asks the server admin as mentioned above. These are much lower level questions and this because of the tool that network manager is using. He is using 40-year-old technology comprising command-line interface (CLI) and scripts. As a matter of fact, in an interview with a CIO, he told his team, “If you’re using the CLI and scripts, you’ve already lost the battle for cloud.
In a typical data center you could have 500 servers with all of them running a hypervisor, each carrying about 20 virtualized workloads. Well, there are 10,000 workloads with each one requiring, on an average, five network attributes and there are 50,000 network attributes that you have to configure on a port-by-port basis across dozens of switches—possibly 250,000 command line entries across those dozens of switches. Even if you have a really good IT organization, those network administrators are bound to make a mistake. Even if they are really good, they might make one mistake out of a thousand, that’s is still 250 errors and you’ve got to go find them. That’s the real tough part – it’s like finding a needle in a haystack. This process is not only slow but it also presents a reliability problem.
Joe Skorupa, Vice President Distinguished Analyst, Gartner Research, summed up our April 10th announcement nicely in an interview with Network World: “HP is making a significant step forward in automation of the network and it could mark the death of CLIs”.
With Virtual Application Networks Intelligent Management Center (IMC) VAN Manager module, HP automates this process and provide policy-based configuration to speed up application deployment from months to minutes.
2. Speed up application delivery at Layer 4 – Layer 7
Now let’s look at the example above which shows the conversation that happens between Application admin and Network admin for layer 4 through Layer 7 configuration. Again, if you look at the questions that network admin is asking, these are much lower level questions around TCP, SSL and HTTP parameters. Then there are more than 1200 attributes that are needed to be configured for deploying an application such as Microsoft Exchange.
In the same way as HP has enabled rapid application deployment with Virtual Application Networks with VAN Manager module in IMC, F5 has done the same thing with iApps. F5 iApps also provides policy-based, template-driven configuration and it automates the manual process for network admins, just like HP Virtual Application Networks.
Industry-only automated, policy-based configuration from Layer 2 through Layer 7
So the key news announced today is that we are introducing our plan to bring two powerful industry innovations together: HP Virtual Application Networks (which is delivered by HP Intelligent Management Center (IMC) VAN Manager Module) with F5 iApps and integrating that into HP IMC. This provides the industry’s only automated policy-based single-pane-of-glass management from application to network to user covering the entire stack from Layer 2 through Layer 7.
We believe this will forever change the history of networking and, more importantly, change how you design and manage your networks.
>> Please visit the HP Interop announcement page for more information.