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The Software Defined Network Opportunity And HP's (=HPQ) Competitive Edge In The Space

In the last couple of years Software Defined Networking (SDN) has moved from a buzzword to a concept which has been widely discussed and has a potential to change the face of networking. Many industry analysts believe that SDN will cross a billion US dollars in market size in the next 1 to 2 years. During the recently concluded NetEvents Press Summit in Phuket, I had a chance to interact with leaders in the networking space, where "HP(NYSE:HPQ)" was one of the sponsors. I understand HP has been betting big on this technology in the last few months. I believe HP's moves on SDN are largely in the right direction. Since, SDN in its simplest sense simplifies networking and has the potential to become the next major technology trend, with Cloud, Big Data and Mobility as key drivers for its adoption. Coming back to HP, I believe the vendor is a front runner in building the best end-to-end SDN platform. The company has over 25 million ports across 50 OpenFlow-enabled switches and 10 routers in their portfolio. While competitors are still focused on developing the underlying infrastructure for SDN and on spreading the message, HP has already moved ahead in the space. The latest offering from the vendor is HP's SDN App store. Protector and Optimizer will be the first two apps from the HP Store, once it goes live in a couple of months. HP has also announced new cloud -based, SDN-enabled, unified wired and wireless network solutions. These solutions are designed to help increase the agility of the network while at the same time simplifying its management. The vendor has further launched a new HP location-aware SDN application, which locates any wireless-enabled device indoors within an accuracy of approximately two metres - up to five times more accurate than competing alternatives. The solution is powered by technology developed at HP Labs. As per HP, this application will be integrated with the HP Virtual Application Networks (VAN) SDN controller. The deployment of this kind of 'app' will be mainly aimed at industry verticals like Healthcare, Retail etc. where it is expected to deliver new revenue generation opportunities. The announcement of these technological advancements by HP in the SDN space in a couple of months goes to show that the company is indeed going to be a key player to watch out for in this emerging market segment. All it has to do is to continue to educate and inform customers about SDN and related technologies. For, while SDN is ready for enterprises but its mainstream adoption might take a few quarters.

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