HP changes the fabric of the IT universe

Posted by Andrea Petrou

HP has introduced a data center network fabric built on its FlexNetwork architecture.

The company claims its new baby will give business agility for clients by delivering two times greater scalability and 75 percent less complexity over current network fabrics.

It also claims clients could also see a reduction in network provisioning time from "months to minutes". A bold claim, indeed.

As companies move to a cloud environment, legacy network architectures are apparently buckling under the pressure for instant access to applications and services .

HP also said organizations are struggling with the complexity of current data center network fabric designs, which need manual device-by-device configurations and limit the performance of bandwidth-intensive applications.

It said it was moving to save the network world with a  series of software-defined network (SDN) data center switches that are claimed to deliver advanced automation capabilities and industry-leading scalability for bandwidth-intensive applications such as Hadoop.

The offerings include the HP FlexFabric 12900, which is an OpenFlow-enabled core switch capable of scaling to meet the demands of virtualised workloads.

By simplifying network design and operations, HP's new networking products are claimed to enable customers to improve IT productivity by unifying the virtual and physical fabric with new HP FlexFabric Virtual Switch 5900v software. In conjunction with the HP FlexFabric 5900 physical switch, this is said to deliver 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.

It is also claimed to reduce data centre footprint with the HP Virtualized Services Router (VSR), which allows services to be delivered on a virtual machine (VM), eliminating unnecessary hardware.

The scale data center fabric for improved application performance is claimed 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  apparently move up to three times more data across the network per 40-gigabit Ethernet port.