Image of Cortney & Jeremy

HP Networking Tech Day – Part 1

by Jeremy L. Gaddis on August 28, 2010 · 2 comments

in Events

Note: This is Part 1 of a three-part series. Also see Part 2 and Part 3.

The first day of the HP Networking Tech Day in Roseville, California, was quite a busy day. Our group of bloggers, accompanied by Halley Bass of Ivy Worldwide, assembled in the hotel lobby and made our way over to the HP campus.

Once in the conference room, we quickly found that there was no Internet access available for our use! WHAT!? Okay, so the HP campus is apparently quite locked down. They even had some state-of-the-art technology in the conference room providing wired access for their employees!

Fortunately, Halley had a CradlePoint unit and we were able to use that for Wi-Fi access for the rest of the event.

Becca Taylor, Enterprise Business Social Media Manager, greeted us and gave us a quick introduction. The bloggers introduced themselves to everyone and then we got started.

HPN Overview (including Converged Infrastructure)

Jay Mellman, Senior Director, Worldwide Marketing, started the day off, giving an overview of HP Networking and a brief talk about how HP is “Changing the Rules of Networking”. Networks will converge; nothing really new here.

Jay also talked about the “3rd Wave of Networking”, which we are in the middle of now. HP points out that they have a “standards-based open approach” to networking, as opposed to developing and/or using proprietary protocols. This is evidenced by their support of open protocols such as LLDP, OSPF, VRRP, etc.

Jay mentioned that HP has a total of six datacenters. What’s more interesting is that one of those datacenters is now “Cisco-free”, and the others will be in the future. Presumably, this was made possible by the high-end products obtained through the H3C/3Com acquisition.

We also heard about the collaboration between HP and Shell in the realm of sensor networks:

HP and Shell are collaborating to develop a wireless sensing system to acquire extremely high-resolution seismic data on land. HP and Shell will use their complementary knowledge and experience to produce a groundbreaking solution that can sense, collect and store geophysical data.

Trends Driving Network Change

Next up was Dr. Paul Congdon (“CTO Talk with Paul Congdon”). Paul is an HP Fellow and Chief Technologist in the HP Networking ATG. He’s been in networking for over 25 years and has also been working on the IEEE 802.1 standards body for over a decade. Clearly, he knows networking.

Paul discussed several “Major Enterprise IT Trends”:

Andy Bryant (@AndyAtHP) covered Paul’s session — much better than I could, I might add — in an article entitled “3 trends driving changes in the network”, so I’ll leave it at that.

A-series Technology Overview and Differentiators

Dominic Wilde spoke with us next. Dom is the Senior Director of Advanced Technology in the Data Center and Core Switching division of HP Networking. He came over to HP from H3C, and gave us an overview of the A-Series (H3C) products. Unfortunately, Dom was the only one who wouldn’t share his slides, so I’ll just mention two key things here.

First, “All HP A-Series Switching, Routing, and Security Platforms leverage a common, unified modular OS”. This OS is called “Comware” and is consistent across the A-Series products (those obtained from H3C). Sounds like someone else. =)

Second, interoperability. Cisco is the market leader and everyone knows that, including HP. Cisco/HP interoperability is going to be a major factor for anyone who may have an existing Cisco infrastructure and is looking to perhaps begin integrating HP products into their networks. That interoperability has been “proven by customers worldwide” and HP goes to great lengths to ensure that interoperability (more on this in day two).

I’m working on a separate article on the A-series where I’ll give more details on the product line-up.

Virtual Connect

Mike Witkoswki was next in line, discussing HP Virtual Connect.

Out of everyone in the room, I probably know the least about Virtual Connect, so I won’t say too much. Virtual Connect is all about converging data (Ethernet) and storage networks (Fiber Channel), however. A big selling point seems to be giving system administrators the ability to do much of the work themselves (think adding new servers, network connections, SAN connections, etc.), though Greg Ferro (@etherealmind) brought up a good argument in that regard (mostly to the effect that network and storage guys don’t want the system administrators to have that capability).

Greg also posted a lot of information and links about Virtual Connect, so definitely check that out as well.

Intelligent Management Center demo (IMC)

Rob Haviland, Technical Marketing Engineer, was up to bat next. Rob talked about the Intelligent Management Center product, which supports over 3000 third-party products in addition to the 3Com/H3C products:

H3C Intelligent Management Center (IMC) delivers next-generation, integrated and modular network management capabilities that efficiently meet the end-to-end management needs of advanced, heterogeneous enterprise networks. Designed on a service-oriented architecture that effectively integrates traditionally disparate management tools, IMC can be deployed across multiple servers to provide complete management of resources, services and users. Highly available, self-contained and scalable, IMC supports the management of 3Com® H3C and third-party devices.

IMC is intended to solve several questions:

  • What applications are running in the network?
  • What traffic affects the running of the network?
  • What applications are unrelated to services? How to ensure important services?
  • How to deploy the resources in the network? How to change the deployment with the change of services?
  • Who or what is consuming bandwidth?
  • Whether more bandwidths are needed?
  • Which users need to be controlled, and how?

It would take hours to summarize IMC and Rob’s presentation, so check out hisIntelligent Management Center slides (PDF).

Rob also gave us a live demo of the Intelligent Management Center. There is a free 60-day trial of IMC Professional Edition available for download. I have a fairly extensive networking lab (unfortunately no H3C gear, though), so I’ve added “set up an installation of IMC” to my list of things to do someday.

IMC runs on Windows, Linux, and Solaris.

Stay tuned for Part 2 and Part 3…

Leave a Comment

{ 2 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: