In an SDN approach, the underlying network intelligence can be abstracted from the physical hardware. Enabling SDN is the OpenFlow protocol, which can run across networking infrastructure from multiple vendors, including HP. In order to control an SDN network, a controller is required, which is something that HP has not had until now.
HP is announcing its own SDN OpenFlow controller called the Virtual Application Network SDN controller. HP’s OpenFlow contoller goes beyond what has been available in the current generation of open source OpenFlow controllers.
“We also provide a series of extensions to OpenFlow that further enables HP hardware,” Mike Banic, global marketing vice president for Networking at HP, told Enterprise Networking Planet.
An OpenFlow controller on its own isn’t all that interesting. What makes a controller interesting is the network applications that it can enable. To that end, HP is also introducing an SDN security applications called Sentinet that runs on top of the Virtual Application Network SDN controller.
Banic explained that Sentinel automates the detection of vulnerabilities across an SDN network and then automates that reporting to HP’s Arcsight SIEM product. The reporting then helps to enable remediation and compliance reporting as well.
“The SDN controller programs the access devices in a converged wired and wireless network through OpenFlow,” Banic explained. “Sentinel then as a program redirects domain name service requests.”