HP is promoting its new Virtual Application Networks solution, unveiled in April, during this week's Interop 2012 networking industry conference. Virtual Application Networks speeds the development of cloud-delivered software applications on an enterprise network. The world's largest IT vendor also says it is deepening its existing partnership with F5 Networks to automate the process of deploying applications in minutes on both a wired and wireless network for employees using their own personal wireless devices at work. Finally, HP is introducing a new 10500 series campus network core switch, which it says reduces latency by 75% in delivering rich media applications.
The HP announcements at Interop are representative of the current state of the networking industry. Networking vendors have seen a pickup in adoption of 10-Gbit Ethernet (GbE) switches as a needed upgrade from 1-GbE connectivity, while the emergence of 40 GbE is being seen in the network core. Coinciding with that is the growing adoption of software-defined networking (SDN), which is how HP says it can deliver quicker, more reliable and more manageable application rollouts.
The HP Virtual Application Network solution addresses several pain points for companies trying to develop new applications quickly and deploy them on wireless networks in the new bring-your-own- device (BYOD) environment that IT needs to support, says Michael Nielsen, director of solutions for HP Networking.
It can take as long as three months to develop and deploy a new application and, by that time, the business opportunity the app was intended to address may have passed the company by, he says. Also, IT is having a hard time managing a BYOD environment; HP cited a survey that showed 60% of enterprises are unsure about which mobile devices are running on their corporate network. Also, manually configuring apps and network devices using the command line interface (CLI) method is prone to errors; 70% of network downtime is caused by CLI configuration errors.
"You’re not going to deploy 250,000 CLIs in three days with no errors, right? If you continue to manage by CLI, you’re doomed," says Nielsen.
The Virtual Application Network addresses those pain points through app deployment in as little as 3 minutes to whatever devices are on the network, and with a simplified management interface called the Intelligent Management Center, including F5 application control, to deliver the app over wired or wireless networks. Another feature is what HP calls a Dynamic Virtual Private Networks (DVPN), a feature that includes "zero-touch" configuration of routers across the enterprise to reduce CLI errors while securing the wireless connection like all VPNs do.