HP to give VMware's software defined networking efforts a boost

HP has stepped up its VMware partnership to push the NSX software defined networking platform as both companies eye Cisco.

Hewlett-Packard said it will begin pushing VMware's network virtualization platform NSX in an extension of its server partnership with the company.

The news, which comes as VMware's VMWorld conference kicks off in San Francisco, is interesting given the corporate machinations at both companies. VMware and parent EMC are reportedly pondering a merger. Meanwhile, HP is splitting its enterprise and PC and printing businesses into two separate companies. Ultimately, EMC and HP Enterprise could become one company, according to a few analysts.

More: EMC mergers ahead: First VMware, then HP Enterprise. Will time run out? | Cloud TV - Video Series | How VISA is moving to a 'true cloud architecture' in a private cloud | Principal CIO tells how large enterprises use cloud for agility and bursting

HP's move to sell NSX is aimed directly at networking rival Cisco. VMware, also a partner of Cisco, moved into network virtualization as did HP. HP is planning to work with VMware to deliver products and services such as HP Software-defined Compute Services, Network Virtualization Services for NSX, Client Virtualization Services and Education Services for VMware.

As for Cisco, it has its own software defined networking platform called ACI that appears to be getting good traction in enterprise accounts. Related: Cisco launches cloud suite under new software strategy | Cisco, Microsoft target cloud vendors in expanded partnership

HP has also launched a series of converged and all-flash storage systems for VMware's vSphere cloud computing platform.

For VMware, HP's agreement to sell and support NSX is a big win. NSX has some traction, but enterprises are likely looking for more of a complete portfolio that includes data center gear, services and architectures. HP brings the throughput to NSX.

HP added that it will collaborate with VMware to develop HP's FlexFabric 5930 switch so it is interoperable with VMware NSX.

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The concept of data center gear that can be provisioned for networking, storage or compute on the fly is the promise of software defined infrastructure. For instance, Bank of America CTO David Reilly said in a recent interview that his company is building a private cloud that will run on software defined infrastructure. He noted that some of the technology needs to scale, but the idea of one box being software defined for storage, networking and/or compute is reality today.

HP said a bevy of NSX-based services will be available in January. Other products launched at World include:

  • Virtual desktop infrastructure designed to operate VMware's Horizon 6.1 and NVIDIA's GRID platform to deliver graphics virtualization. The VDI systems, powered by HP's OneView software, can support up to 3,500 users.
  • HP's Converged Architecture (CA700), which is a combination of HP's BladeSystem, 3PAR Storage and OneView and VMware's vSphere ESXi. With the integrated system, HP said VMware admins can manage the stack as one and deploy to expand data center clusters.
  • As for the VMware services, HP is planning pre-defined services to quickly launch VMware, implementation tools and architecture , consulting for design, implementation and deployment of virtualization and NSX support.


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