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HP Launches Industry’s Most Complete Software-defined Network Fabric for Cloud

PALO ALTO, Calif., April 30, 2013 — HP today unveiled an industry-leading data center network fabric built on HP FlexNetwork architecture, enabling business agility for clients by delivering two times greater scalability(1) and 75 percent less complexity over current network fabrics(2) while reducing network provisioning time from months to minutes.(3)

As companies move to a cloud environment, legacy network architectures are buckling under the pressure for instant access to applications and services that offer a high-quality user experience. Organizations also are struggling with the complexity of current data center network fabric designs, which require manual device-by-device configurations and limit the performance of bandwidth-intensive applications.

HP is addressing these challenges with a series of software-defined network (SDN) data center switches that deliver advanced automation capabilities and industry-leading scalability for bandwidth-intensive applications such as Hadoop.(4) The new offerings include the new HP FlexFabric 12900, which is the industry's first OpenFlow-enabled core switch capable of scaling to meet the demands of increasing virtualized workloads.(4)

"For the past 20 years, data center networks have lagged in supporting new enterprise demands for cloud, virtualization and big data," said Bethany Mayer, senior vice president and general manager, Networking, HP. "Only HP is positioned to deliver the industry's most complete software-defined data center network fabric with innovations that enable our customers to create a network foundation that will meet their needs today and well into the future."

Simplify network design and operations

By simplifying network design and operations, new HP Networking solutions enable customers to:

  • Improve IT productivity by unifying the virtual and physical fabric with new HP FlexFabric Virtual Switch 5900v software, which, in conjunction with the HP FlexFabric 5900 physical switch, delivers advanced networking functionalities such as policies and quality of service to a VMware environment. Integrated Virtual Ethernet Port Aggregator (VEPA) technology provides clear separation between server and network administrations to deliver operational simplicity.
  • Reduce data center footprint with the HP Virtualized Services Router (VSR), which allows services to be delivered on a virtual machine (VM), eliminating unnecessary hardware, by leveraging the industry's first carrier-class software-based Network Function Virtualization (NFV).(4)

"Today's data center networks are somewhat static and limiting in their ability to scale—they are also complex and require manual provisioning for cloud and virtualized applications," said Rohit Mehra, vice president, Network Infrastructure, IDC. "HP's portfolio of physical and virtual switches, as well as its SDN-enabled network fabric, indicates its readiness to address many of these challenges, providing clients simplicity, scalability and automation to enable new services and applications for the data center."

Scale data center fabric for improved application performance

HP FlexFabric solutions improve end-user application experience and enable customers to:

  • Enhance support for complex, high data-consuming applications with the HP FlexFabric 12900 switch series, which manages bandwidth spikes with the built-in networking standard Transparent Interconnection of Lots of Links (TRILL). The HP FlexFabric 12900 switch series can move up to three times more data across the network per 40-gigabit Ethernet (GbE) port compared to leading competitors.(4)
  • Improve virtualized application performance by up to 50 percent(5) with the HP FlexFabric 11908, the industry's first OpenFlow-enabled aggregation switch.(4) HP FlexFabric 11908 delivers 10/40 GbE connectivity for blade servers, such as HP c-Class servers with Virtual Connect FlexFabric modules, enabling flexible and cost-effective deployment for data centers.
  • Boost resiliency by simplifying network service delivery with the HP HSR 6800 router series, which consolidates routing, firewall, switching and more than five times the security services of other solutions(6) into one device that supports thousands of users.

"At the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Lab, we ensure interoperability and conformance to industry standards for networking products in an independent and neutral environment," said Christina Dube, senior manager, Bridge Functions, InterOperability Lab, University of New Hampshire. "In our multivendor lab, we recently tested interoperability of the industry's first standard-based TRILL functionality with switch software Comware 7 available on the HP FlexFabric portfolio."

"Providing solutions for increasing needs to scale out our clients' application and services in our data center is one of the key factors for our business success," said Masaki Hayashi, director, Technology Division, IDC Frontier, a subsidiary of Yahoo! JAPAN. "We considered a multitude of technologies and selected HP to help design a data center network fabric based on the innovative standard TRILL to deliver very-large scale, high-performing and differentiated public cloud services across our data centers throughout Japan."

Automate the network with management and SDN

HP's unique single pane-of-glass management automates accelerated application and service delivery for SDN-enabled and traditional network devices from the data center to the campus and branch. This enables customers to:

Focus on innovation and the business

HP Technology Services help customers evolve and operate complex data center networks to reallocate resources to innovation and business growth. New services include:

  • HP Connectivity Transformation Experience Workshop—helps customers achieve network scale and agility with a defined strategy for network transformation that aligns business and IT goals.
  • HP IPv6 Roadmap Service—provides access to experienced consultants to develop a transition roadmap to IPv6 by considering all six of the domains affected by this transition—the network, security, infrastructure, applications, governance and finance.
  • HP Datacenter Care for Networking—offers a single point of contact for reactive support and proactive services that enable customers to quickly resolve network issues, evolve the network to meet changing business needs and reduce IT administrative tasks, allowing them to focus on technology innovation.

HP at Interop Las Vegas 2013

HP will demonstrate the new data center products and services in the HP FlexNetwork architecture at Interop Las Vegas, held May 6-10 at Mandalay Bay, in booth 1527. HP's networking products also are powering the InteropNet Network Operations Center (NOC), a multivendor, high-speed network that serves the exhibitors, conference rooms and attendees at the event.

HP's Bethany Mayer and Conrad Menezes, vice president, Network and Information Security, Sears Holdings Corporation, will deliver a joint keynote at 9:35 a.m. PT, on Thursday, May 9, at Mandalay Bay Ballroom H. The live webcast will be available at interop.com/live.

Pricing and availability(7)

  • HP FlexFabric Virtual Switch 5900v is expected to be available worldwide in October 2013; pricing will be available at that time.
  • HP FlexFabric 5900 switch series is available today for a starting pricing of $14,990.
  • HP Virtualized Services Router series is expected to be available worldwide in the second half of 2013; pricing will be available at that time.
  • HP FlexFabric 12900 switches are expected to be available worldwide in October 2013; pricing will be available at that time.
  • HP FlexFabric 11908 switch is expected to be available worldwide in June 2013 for a starting price of $83,000.
  • HP HSR 6800 router series is available worldwide for a starting price of $46,000.
  • HP IMC Virtual Application Network Resource Automation Manager is expected to be available worldwide in December 2013; pricing will be available at that time.
  • HP IMC SDN Manager is expected to be available worldwide in December 2013; pricing will be available at that time.

Additional information about HP Networking solutions is available at www.hp.com/go/networking.

HP's premier Americas client event, HP Discover, takes place June 11-13 in Las Vegas.


(1) HP FlexFabric design using TRILL and IRF reduces operational complexity by up to 4:1.
(2) Based on HP FlexFabric 24,000 port design vs. Juniper Qfabric 6,000 port or Cisco FabricPath 12,000 port design.
(3) HP internal comparative analysis when having to provision networks via CLI vs. using HP Virtual Applications Networks.
(4) Based on HP internal research.
(5) HP FlexFabric 11908 compared with Nexus 7010.
(6) Based on HP internal comparative analysis of publicly available data from major competitors.
(7) Estimated U.S. street prices. Actual prices may vary.

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