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New HP Access Point, Apps Highlight Software-Defined Networking News

Hewlett-Packard Co. further embraced the burgeoning software-defined networking (SDN) trend with announcements of more wireless access point support and additional SDN apps. Other SDN product announcements made during this week's Interop Las Vegas conference came from Meru Networks, Spirent Communications, Extreme Networks, Broadcom and others.

SDN is a relatively recent trend that improves computer network management by abstracting low-level functionality and decoupling control layers from data (sometimes called infrastructure) layers.

New HP 560 access points will support OpenFlow, the main communications protocol used to enable SDN by providing communication between the control and data layers. The new access points let customers utilize SDN without having to replace equipment already in use, HP said. Based on the IEEE 802.11ac wireless networking standard, the access points are reportedly some three times faster than 802.11n devices. They're available now for $1,199.

The company said its new HP Location Aware app can locate indoor, wireless-enabled devices with an accuracy of about two meters, which HP said is up to five times more accurate than competitor solutions.

"Powered by technology developed at HP Labs, the company's central research arm, HP Location Aware enables a wide range of new context-aware retail, asset management and security applications," the company said. "This application will be integrated with the HP Virtual Application Networks (VAN) SDN controller and is designed to help businesses transform wireless LAN infrastructure into revenue-generating vehicles."

HP also said it was going to provide new HP SDN Roadmap Services to serve as a practical, specific guide for transitioning to SDN while meeting business goals. The company said the services will be available in June; currently, the link provided by HP for those services goes to a fact sheet about SDN.

The company also announced: an HP Cloud-Managed Network Solution coming in June; an HP 516 Unified 802.11ac Wall Jack coming in May; an HP 870 Unified Wired-WLAN Appliance available now along with an HP 850 appliance coming in June; and Secure BYOD Services and IP Address Management Services, available now.

In other SDN-related news:

  • Spirent Communications announced a virtual cloud testing lab environment called Spirent Velocity that helps verify SDN and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) deployments and technologies.
  • Super Micro Computer unveiled SuperSwitch and MicroBlade microserver SDN hardware solutions.
  • Broadcom announced the expansion of its XLPII multi-core communications processor line with the XLP500 Series, which it said provides the performance needed to simplify SDN and NFV deployments.
  • Meru Networks said it was implementing standards-based SDN to enable service-level agreements specific to individual applications, and provide network managers with the ability to control wired and wireless networks from one solution.
  • Extreme Networks announced an SDN architecture comprised of unified hardware and software products, such as SDN 2.0, which combines automatic network and app provisioning via integration with "northbound" and "southbound" services between SDN layers.

The Interop conference runs through Friday.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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