Last week I had the privilege of attending HP Discover in Barcelona and thought I’d hit the highlights while they were still fresh in my mind.
HP’s continued OpenFlow work stood out last week as HP has several applications leveraging OpenFlow available to customers now. One of the things that I find most appealing is that there are actually *campus* SDN applications, not just data center applications. Recently, data center has received all the love in networking innovation, leaving campus networks to the same old same old. Campus networks, however, represent a wide range of potential for SDN, so it’s nice to see some OpenFlow applications focused in that direction. The Network Optimizer application that dynamically allocates bandwidth for Lync experiences and the Network Protector app that leverages a TippingPoint Reputation database are the HP SDN applications I’ve heard the most about, but a look at the SDN App store shows there are quite a few others out there, customer ready and available.
HP’s Intelligent Management Center caught my attention when listening to the Packet Pusher’s episode on the platform and after talking to Chris Young about the product at Discover, I am all the more curious to get a demo up and running. IMC not only allows for your basic network management and monitoring tasks, but also offers advanced features such as config validation and device configuration from a centralized management console. It won’t get rid of all your other single pains – err – panes of glass, but does look quite promising for centralizing network management in a way that doesn’t suck your will to live as some of the larger, more bloated platforms tend to do. Also, support of third party devices is big for anyone not running HP gear exclusively or even at all. The insight into ESXi servers also caught my interest as being super cool – a way to see into what those wily sys admins have done with their virtual switches while they blame your physical switches for the problem.
I also found the work HP Labs is doing to be quite fascinating. Having an increased R&D budget as of late, the HP lab geeks are taking on some pretty cool projects. Much of their energy is being funneled into photonics and memristor technology projects, collectively referred to The Machine. Personally, the name “The Machine” sounds a bit over the top, but there is some serious science going on in this line of research and my geek DNA can’t wait to see what develops from these endeavors.
I had a highly enjoyable experience overall and loved getting to geek out over tech with some other seriously fabulous nerds – you should check them out as well because they are *awesome*.
Disclaimer: While HP Networking was very generous to invite me to this fantastic event and pay my expenses, and I am very grateful for it, my opinions are totally my own, as all redheads are far too stubborn to have it any other way.