HP's Building An SDN App Store - InformationWeek

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HP's Building An SDN App Store

HP's looking to foster an SDN ecosystem and take the smartphone model into enterprise software-defined networking with a developers' kit and an app store. But is this an idea ahead of its time?

HP is seeking to put itself at the front and center of the software-defined networking (SDN) revolution with the announcement at this week's Interop show in New York of a SDN software development kit (SDK), plans for an SDN app store, and new routers that support OpenFlow, a key SDN protocol.

The IT giant, which has been one of the most aggressive developers of SDN technology based around the OpenFlow protocol, is keen to "foster an ecosystem around SDN," said Mike Banic, VP of global marketing, networking, at Hewlett-Packard during a media briefing in London.

The availability of an SDK for SDN applications developers, plus plans to build an app store that will enable network operations teams to download apps into their SDN controllers in the same way that smartphone users download apps onto their devices, "will create an opportunity for entrepreneurs -- we believe we can create opportunities for the 'two-guys-in-a-garage' startups to get involved without them needing VC backing," added Banic, referencing HP's founding roots.

The SDK will give developers the opportunity to "develop, simulate, certify and collaborate," noted Banic, while the SDN app store will house apps from all manner of partners and "bring the consumer experience into the IT department. This is an open SDN ecosystem," added the HP exec.

Partners that have already registered for the SDK include F5, Intel, KT Cloud, Microsoft, NTT, Qosmos, Radware, Riverbed, ShoreTel, Samsung, SAP, Tech Mahindra and VMware, among others.

In addition, HP is unveiling 10 new router products that support OpenFlow, including a Virtual Services Router that, HP said, is being put through its paces by Telefónica, which is looking at how a virtual router could be deployed for its enterprise customers.

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