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HP Trusted Network Transformation: de-risk the journey to SDN

Yanick_Pouffary_badge_176x304 edited.pngBy Yanick Pouffary, Distinguished Technologist, Chief Technologist of HP Network Services

 

If you’re a network engineer, you’re going on a journey—and you’re going to take your business with you.

 

It’s a good journey that will help the network achieve the same agility our IT colleagues in servers and storage have achieved with virtualization. Of course, I’m talking about the journey of network transformation enabled by software-defined Networking (SDN). Mobility, cloud computing and Big Data are driving the change. We’ve reached the point where the network can’t keep up, and it’s holding businesses back. So we’re off on a trip. But like all journeys, we need to be prepared, and we need to move carefully to reduce the risk of getting lost or going off the road.

 

In HP, we’ve been working to help our customers make the journey with the minimum risk and the greatest chance of achieving the desired business outcomes. We’ve developed a transformation methodology we call the HP Trusted Network Transformation. It’s a complete design based on IT Strategy & Architecture (ITSA) principles and methodology.

 

Let me tell you about it. Transformation is about moving from the current (as-is) state to the desired (to-be) state. HP Trusted Network Transformation is an approach that lets us do that along a trusted path that speeds progress and reduces risk. First we must understand exactly where you are and where you’re going. We begin our journey with a Transformation Experience Workshop—a session that brings together IT and business stakeholders to develop a common vision of how the network needs to enable the business and the steps it will take to get there. Based on that shared vision, we develop a strategy and network architecture to achieve it.

 

Since the path to any destination is different depending on where you begin the journey, we perform an assessment of where you currently are. Then we create a network design, do the implementation and integration, and provide for ongoing support. The to-be state will change a little as the business changes over time, so it’s also important to put in place a process for managing change in a way that’s orderly and that takes advantage of the tremendous flexibility SDN offers. And this is not a journey you take by yourself. We engage your network vendor partners in the process, so everyone knows who will do what.

 

It’s a lifecycle approach that transforms people, processes, and technology to position you for ongoing success. To keep everything on track, we ground the process in four key principles:

 

• Business alignment—SDN can make networks business-aware, so our design must take advantage of that to assure we’re meeting the future needs of the business.

 

• HP-validated technical design, deployment, and support—No bushwhacking. We stay on the paths we have already developed and verified.

 

• Change management—SDN is about enabling change, so we build in the ability to change rapidly and smoothly.

 

• Program management and sponsorship—We verify the program is delivering the business value we planned to users and the business.

 

It’s no coincidence the English word travel (to journey) is similar to the French word travailler (to work). It’s going to take both thought and effort for those of us in the network business to achieve this transformation. But those who don’t will simply be left behind, so we’re working to make the process as safe and risk-free as possible.

 

You can learn more about SDN and what we’re doing to help our customers get there at hp.com/go/sdn.

 

Yanick Pouffary is a Distinguished Technologist and the Chief Technologist of HP Network Services. She draws upon nearly three decades of experience in the development of networking products, technologies, and services. She works within HP and with our customers to help them successfully adapt and take advantage of the changing world of network technologies such as software-defined networking (SDN), network functions virtualization, and IPv6. She is a strategic advisor to governments and enterprises on the topic of SDN and IPv6 transition.

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