Practice Lead, Networking
A few weeks back, HP officially released the first SDN App Store to the public. If you haven’t seen it yet, you should go take a look. Check it out HERE.
The concept behind the App Store is that users of HP’s VAN SDN controller can browse applications and install them directly from this interface. Once installed, the applications will be able to implement their functionality directly into the network fabric, taking full advantage of the hardware customers already have in place. Abstract applications that run on traditional network hardware is a novel idea in the networking space and one of the most powerful capabilities enabled by SDN.
HP views their controller (and SDN in general) as being the platform for innovation as opposed to the end goal. Rather than building the features they believe customers may need into the controller itself, HP designed the controller to act as an abstraction layer between the network devices and application stack. The decisions made by the controller – and the behavior of the network – can be manipulated by developers via northbound APIs and pluggable applications. By adopting this model, HP plans to create an ecosystem of partners and community members who will develop applications to suit the specific needs of their users.
So far, the community seems to be taking shape nicely. At launch, the App Store contained offerings from F5, Kemp, BlueCat, and others (in addition to HP’s own offerings). The best part? There are already apps available that do things that just haven’t been possible before. Have you ever wanted to simulate changes to your physical network in a virtual replica of your environment? Well – now you can! It will be very interesting to watch as the selection of applications grows and continues to branch out. What would you like to see?
We’ll be following these developments closely and taking a deeper dive into some of the applications in this space in the near future, so check back soon!