HP switches fortify campus SDNs

HP rolls out 5400R switch modules, enhanced SDN apps

HP this week strengthened its campus networking portfolio with modules for a switch chassis it announced almost a year ago, and an SDN-based management application.

The additions are intended to improve an enterprise’s ability to support mobility, security, application performance and network monitoring in the campus. They are consistent with the industry trend in campus networking to better integrate wired and wireless infrastructure and applications.

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The new HP products include the 5400R zl2 switch v3 modules and the HP Network Visualizer SDN App.

The modules are for the 5400R zl2 switch chassis HP unveiled last June as a Cisco Catalyst 4500 “killer.” That chassis has a 2Tbps backplane and can support up to 96 10G ports.

The modules include a sixth generation on-board ASIC optimized for SDN, HP says. The 5400R v3 modules include programmable OpenFlow processing pipelines and 10 parallel advanced packet processor engines for SDN application support, the company says.

The modules also support HP Smart Rate ports, which self-negotiate between 1G, 2.5G, 5G and 10G with Power over Ethernet+. This will support the new wave of higher speed IEEE 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless access points, which support 3.5Gbps and “beam forming” for more direct WiFi connectivity.

HP is acquiring WLAN titan Aruba Networks so there should be more detail coming soon on switch/WLAN integration.

The HP Network Visualizer SDN App uses Microsoft’s Active Directory to identify user complaints without having to having to identify physical location or IP address. That the application is SDN-based – running atop HP’s SDN controller – eliminates the need for additional appliances and probes to diagnose and repair network issues, HP says.

HP also enhanced other SDN management applications this week. Its Network Protector threat mitigation application now includes intrusion prevention and business level policy enforcement across wired and wireless network.

HP’s Network Optimizer SDN application, which provisions policy and QoS, now includes media path optimization and dynamic traffic periodization based on user or device. These are two new ways for the app to optimally deliver policy and service levels.

The 5400R zl2 modules will be available May 1. They are price from $3,299 to $6,799.

Network Visualizer will be available in June.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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