HP looking for new networking head

SVP and GM Mayer now running HP's new telco NFV shop

HP is looking for a new leader for its networking division as Senior Vice President and General Manager Bethany Mayer is moving on to head the company’s new Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) strategy.

Mayer was tapped to head HP Networking less than three years ago after the departure of Marius Haas. In that time, HP Networking has held its switching market share steady at 11% and been a strong proponent of OpenFlow-based software-defined networking (SDN), having unveiled some 60 OpenFlow-enabled switches and routers, SDKs and an App Store.

Mayer will now take that SDN immersion into HP’s NFV initiatives once her replacement is named.

“Bethany will remain as SVP and GM of HP Networking during this transition while the company actively searches for a new SVP for the business unit,” an HP spokesperson stated in an e-mail. “As both HP NFV and HPN are critical to HP, the company is actively searching for the next leader of the networking business.”

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HP’s new NFV initiative, unveiled this week at the Mobile World Congress conference, is called OpenNFV. It includes an NFV reference architecture, a testing lab and access to partner applications, and is designed to enable service providers to turn up new services faster by eliminating separate appliances for network functions, such as firewalls, VPNs, load balancing, etc.

Those functions will instead run as software or virtual machines on x86 server platforms.

The OpenNFV Reference Architecture encompasses servers, storage and networking, virtualization, SDN controllers, resource management and orchestration, analytics, telco applications, and an operations support system. It includes HP’s Virtual Services Router, Virtual Application Networks and SDN Controller, and partner ecosystem.

HP said it also plans to establish the HP OpenNFV Labs and an HP OpenNFV Partner Program test, validate and manage NFV applications and how they interact with existing telco applications. HP is currently developing proofs of concept for NFV deployments, including infrastructure-as-a-service, virtual network platform-as-a-service, and core network virtualization with its partners.

Some of the HP applications included in the OpenNFV program include HP Virtual Home Subscriber Server, which allows operators to scale and manage their subscribers’ identities across multiple networks; HP Multimedia Services Environment, which consolidates operators’ network applications on a common infrastructure and launches new multimedia applications for customers; HP Virtual Content Delivery Network Software, which handles the physical delivery of media assets to the end user for any content-based Internet service; and HP Financial Services, which enables on-demand infrastructure by providing asset management capabilities for customers.

The OpenNFV Program is available worldwide. Pricing varies depending on client need and customization.

Jim Duffy has been covering technology for over 27 years, 22 at Network World. He also writes The Cisco Connection blog and can be reached on Twitter @Jim_Duffy.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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