Light Reading

HP Beefs Up Its SDN Portfolio

Mitch Wagner

LAS VEGAS -- Interop -- HP today introduced a range of services and SDN-enabled products designed to provide greater agility and simplified network management to customers of all sizes.

The HP Cloud Managed Network Solution, available in June, is designed for small and mid-sized businesses and distributed offices, and is intended to reduce the total cost of ownership by up to 30% by reducing the need for onsite IT staff, according to Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ).

For bigger businesses that want their networking equipment onsite, HP is introducing new access points, appliances, partnerships, and applications.

The HP 560 and 517 802.11ac wireless access points are designed to provide speeds three times faster than 802.11n. The 560 access points, available now, are OpenFlow-enabled, allowing customers to use SDN applications for the management and configuration of the networks.

The HP 870 Unified Wired-WLAN Appliance, also available now, is a controller appliance designed for networks of up to 30,000 devices. The HP 850 Unified Wired-WLAN Appliance supports up to 10,000 devices, and will be available in June.

HP has also formed partnerships with Citrix Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CTXS) and MobileIron to provide mobile device management integration with the HP Intelligent Management Center platform, available now.

The HP Location Aware SDN application pinpoints the location of wireless-enabled devices, such as smartphones, with one- to two-meter accuracy, compared with competing technologies that are accurate to 5 to 10 meters. The software enables context-aware retail, asset management, and security applications. It will be integrated with the HP Virtual Application Networks SDN controller and is designed to help businesses transform wireless LANs into revenue-generating networks.

To help companies achieve that goal, HP has also developed a proof-of-concept application called SmartShopper, aimed at retailers and service providers, to enable businesses to deliver real-time location-based offers to customer smartphones.

"You can enter Cheerios in a search application, and it uses the wireless LAN location service to take you to the aisle with the product you're looking for," Kash Shaikh, HP Networking senior director of marketing, told Light Reading. "Within an accuracy of one meter we'll take the consumer right to the cereal at arm's length. With 5-10 meters, you'll still be two aisles down," and wondering why Cheerios would be in the haircare products section.

HP is going big on virtual networks. The company last month introduced OpenNFV, a program designed to help service providers accelerate innovation and launch new services faster and cheaper, helping them compete with faster, more flexible over-the-top (OTT) players. As part of the program, HP announced appointing Bethany Mayer, currently senior vice president and general manager of HP Networking, to head up HP's NFV strategy. Mayer wears two hats; she's still heading up HP Networking. (See HP Attempts NFV Surprise Despite Spoilers)

— Mitch Wagner, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on Facebook, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading. Got a tip about SDN or NFV? Send it to

Want to learn more about SDN and the transport network? Check out the agenda for Light Reading's Big Telecom Event (BTE), which will take place on June 17 and 18 at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers. The event combines the educational power of interactive conference sessions devised and hosted by Heavy Reading's experienced industry analysts with multi-vendor interoperability and proof-of-concept networking and application showcases. For more on the event, the topics, and the stellar service provider speaker lineup, see Telecommunication Luminaries to Discuss the Hottest Industry Trends at Light Reading's Big Telecom Event in June.

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