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Why HP SDN sales messaging needs a makeover

This week, SDN bloggers question where HP SDN goes now that networking chief Bethany Mayer is leaving, and they explain NSX 6.1 enhancements, as well as why hardware is not the culprit behind slow service provisioning.

There is a problem with HP SDN, and it's not the technology!

Blogger Ethan Banks has a theory about why HP's SDN star is not shining despite having pretty awesome technology. On his Peering Introvert blog, Banks notes that HP's VAN controller, OpenFlow switches and application developer ecosystem are among the most innovative SDN strategies of any on the market. However, he writes that HP's sales team doesn't understand its networking portfolio well enough to push the product. What's more, he says it's high time HP sells its converged network, storage and compute infrastructure in combined bundles. 

As HP networking chief Bethany Mayer leaves for Ixia, Banks has some advice for her unnamed replacement: Strengthen direct and channel sales teams on converged networking, push into white box switching, better integrate network and security offerings, and trim down an overly complicated networking portfolio.

Read more of Ethan's take on the future of HP SDN.

There's a fix for network performance that suffers from nested VMs in ESXi

Among all of the networking news to come out of VMware this week (we ran six VMworld news pieces, including an awesome one on micro-segmentation for security), the most interesting was not a tidbit from the show, but rather news on solving network performance problems when using nested ESXi VMs.

William Lam, of the virtuallyGhetto blog, heard from a customer that experienced slowed network throughput when running nested ESXi VMs. Lam found the same issue when he ran the scenario in his home lab and he determined that copies of network packets were being sent to each nested VM in addition to the VM on the physical host they were meant for. That's a lot of CPU consumption.

Lam's colleague on the VMware engineering team tackled the problem by applying an ESXi dvFilter that implemented MAC Learning to prevent sending the copied packets. The fix turned into an actual release, the ESXi Mac Learning dvFilter Fling

Read more of the details about the ESXi networking fix on Lam's blog.

Digging into NSX 6.1 enhancements

This year at VMworld, VMware launched NSX 6.1, which didn't bring quite the same sparkle as the initial launch of network virtualization last year, but did come with some interesting enhancements. Writer Chris Wahl offers up a nice NSX 6.2 deep dive on his Wahl Network site. Among the best explained new features are DHCP Relay and Equal Cost Multi-Path support.

Read more about NSX 6.1 enhancements in Wahl's deep dive.

Why hardware is not really behind slow network service provisioning

On the F5 DevCentral site, F5 tech evangelist and blogger Lori MacVittie tackles the myth that specialized hardware is culprit behind slow network service provisioning.

The real issue lies in fine tuning the specific settings for each service and application -- regardless of whether it lives on a virtual or physical device, MacVittie writes. Engineers have to set everything from IP addresses and VLANs to security details for each application -- a tedious process. Even NFV and its promise of service orchestration is really only a solution when apps can consistently be deployed with the same configuration template.

MacVittie says the answer is in “operationalization of the network,” a term that she doesn't explain in this blog entry, but that generally refers to engineers pre-setting application policy and configuration, creating reference sets for deployment across a multitude of services.

Read more of MacVittie's take on how hardware does not, in fact, inhibit network service provisioning.

Next Steps

The rise of HP's SDN app store

F5 brings service orchestration to NSX

Understanding Microsoft Hyper-V networking

Dig Deeper on Network services

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