Stephane Kahloun, Senior Global Product Marketing Manager, SDN, HP Networking
By Mark Cox
HP has announced the general availability of the HP SDN App Store, to provide its customers and partners with fully tested software-defined networking (SDN) solutions backed by consulting and support services. At launch the store has eight solutions, two from HP itself and six from its ISV partners, but they hope to ramp that up fairly quickly.
“We really believe this is the additional piece we needed around SDN to unleash a new wave of innovation in the marketplace,” said Stephane Kahloun, Senior Global Product Marketing Manager, SDN, HP Networking.
Kahoun emphasized that this is the first enterprise-grade SDN application ecosystem in the market, which offers the developer community a centralized platform connecting to customers around the world.
“It lets third party developers develop applications on top of our network, which gives them access to a great way to connect with customers,” he said.
The App Store is divided into four different categories of applications, with different support and test processes.
The first category is the HP Circle, with applications built and tested exclusively by HP. Two of these solutions are available at launch. HP Network Protector enables automated network posture assessment and provides real-time security across OpenFlow-enabled network devices. HP Network Optimizer for Microsoft Lync enables automated provisioning of network policy and quality of service to provide an enhanced end-user experience.
The second category is the Premium Circle, which contains applications that are expected to be top sellers, and which are jointly tested by HP and its partners. Six of these are available at launch:
BlueCat DNS Director delivers network-driven enforcement of DNS policies that allow security infrastructures to gain complete visibility and control through IP address management data across all devices and applications.
Ecode evolve is an SDN orchestrator that streamlines network design, change simulation and automated policy provisioning to facilitate dynamic service provisioning with a built-in quality of service and denial-of-service mitigator.
F5 BIG DDoS Umbrella allows customers to implement network, application, DNS and SSL DDoS protection near the network edge, closer to the attacker.
GuardiCore Defense Suite provides highly scalable, SDN-based network security for software-defined data centres, detecting and mitigating advanced persistent threats, malware propagation and insider attacks, at an early stage.
KEMP Adaptive Load Balancer Application, integrated with the HP VAN SDN Controller solution, provides end-to-end visibility of network paths for optimal routing of applications across the server and switching infrastructure.
Real Status Hyperglance is a hybrid cloud and SDN simplified-management platform that provides a unified, full-scale, interactive topology view with 360-degree navigation, intuitive monitoring and context-aware controls for confident insight and action
The third group, the Partner Circle, consists of applications that have been self-tested by HP partners and reviewed by HP. Finally, the fourth group, the Community Circle, offers open-access and community-supported applications to demonstrate open source and concept SDN applications.
“The first two groups involve HP directly, and the third is tested by partners under our guidance, but we wanted to have one that was more open, a more proof of concept type, and that’s the Community Circle,” Kahoun said. “It’s to expose cool proofs of concept to the world.”
While only eight applications in total are available now, and all of these are in the first two groups, Kahoun said that was by design, even though HP is well aware the number of applications will need to grow significantly.
“The key is bringing more application developers in, but at launch we wanted to make sure the applications available were fully tested,” Kahoun said. Only the first two categories are fully tested by HP.
“We don’t want this to be similar to a consumer app store where you don’t know if it’s going to work or not,” he added.
The roadmap to expand the number of applications is already in place, Kahoun said.
“Right now, there is an ecosystem of about 80 companies who we are in discussion with around developing an application, and of these 30 of them are in development, but were not ready for the launch,” he said.
Kahoun said that adding new applications will be guided by core principles. First is adherence to a strict testing process.
“Secondly is that any app doesn’t just come with a product, but also with a service associated with it from the store,” he said. “Third is that channel partners are at center of the strategy. Partners will sit down with the customer, and be there for integration issues. It all allows the customer to use the network as a source of competitive advantage.”
Kahoun said developer interest in HP’s SDN offerings has been strong.
“As of today, we have had more than 3,000 downloads of the HP Virtual Application Networks (VAN) SDN Controller, and over 5,000 downloads of the HP SDN SDK,” he said. “We are really pleased with the traction.”
The HP SDN App Store will be generally available on Oct. 1. Applications will be available for immediate purchase directly from the store, with varied pricing options.