HP has announced a new line of open network switches for the data center that will provide Web scale organizations and service providers more flexibility and control of their data center networks to power cloud, mobile, social media, and Big Data workloads.

HP's new line of switches provides web scale customers with increased choice in open network environments and the ability to tune their data center networks to their requirements. The new network switches address customer needs with dedicated sales teams, choice of hardware and software, and branded switches that are backed by worldwide local support and services through HP Technology Services, enabling customers to streamline operations and reduce supply chain risk. These new products are among the first in the industry in the emerging new category of branded white box switches, known as brite box switches.(1)

"The complexity of Web-scale workloads and increasing customer demands for network services are challenging the scalability and agility of cloud data centers," said Antonio Neri, senior vice president and general manager, HP Enterprise Group. "Today's announcement underpins our commitment to accelerate the adoption of open networks and provide offerings optimized for web-scale deployments that enable faster time to service."

HP will deliver these new network switches to Web scale data center customers through partnerships with Accton Technology Corporation and Cumulus Networks.

The HP-Accton Technology joint venture further strengthens the business relationship between the two companies and their efforts to provide disaggregated networking solutions that meet the business needs, networking features and cost requirements of next generation Web scale data centers. Accton Technology's ability to develop and manufacture open networking switches with superior value, together with HP's networking industry leadership and recognized consulting and global support capabilities, will deliver new high-density, easy to deploy and manage, cost-competitive brite box switch solutions to market.

"Web scale data centers are a growing market segment with distinct needs for high scalability and network flexibility," said George Tchaparian, general manager of data center networks, Accton Technology. "This joint venture will build on the expertise of both organizations to provide global customers with a unique disaggregated networking solution built on new HP-branded open network switches and choice of networking operating system software."

Bringing Linux OS to Cloud Data Centers

HP also announced a new partnership with Cumulus Networks for the network operating system (OS). With Cumulus Linux networking OS as part of the new HP-branded open network switches, customers will be able to leverage the rich and expanding configuration, management and orchestration tools available through open source and commercial Linux communities to develop cloud data center environments that best fit their business.

"Modern data centers need great physical networking using layer 2, layer 3 and overlay architectures that are optimized for higher scalability, faster service delivery, and backed by a robust ecosystem," said JR Rivers, co-founder and CEO, Cumulus Networks. "This open networking approach to web scale data center networks empowers customers and gives web-scale IT the opportunity to serve the business better."

HP Open Network Switches to Deliver High Scalability, Lower Total Cost of Ownership

In delivering this brite box solution, HP is differentiated from original design manufacturers and other competitive offerings through its ability to de-risk supply chain concerns, provide global presence in over 160 countries and deliver a wide range of high value support and consulting services. The new product line is designed to enable a more agile IT infrastructure and improve time-to-market for IT services. Another customer benefit is lower total cost of ownership due to using standards based hardware and streamlined software that reduce acquisition and operating costs by up to 68%.(2)

To start, HP is introducing two open network switches that enable 10G/40G spine and 10G leaf data center deployments. Both switches will be available with Cumulus Linux OS and offer zero-touch OS installation using an open network install environment loader. In the second half of 2015, HP will expand the line to include 25G/50G/100G switches for higher performance Web scale data centers and 1G switches to address unique customer needs. HP will also expand the hardware and OS software choices to meet emerging customer requirements. The expanded offerings will enhance customers' ability to tailor their networking infrastructure to meet the specific applications and workload requirements.

To help customers as they transform their networks and build web scale data centers, HP Technology Services offers HP Trusted Network Transformation, an end-to-end approach to manage risk in complex environments by proactively preventing problems and unplanned downtime. By taking a building block approach, HP supplements an organization's internal expertise with HP resources where value can be added.

(1) Brite box network switches are an emerging category of switches, described by Gartner in a recent report: "This approach essentially 'splits the difference' between traditional and white-box switching." Gartner, The Future of Data Center Network Switches Looks 'Brite', Andrew Lerner, Joe Skorupa, 01 December 2014.
(2) Credit Suisse Securities Research and Analytics. 18, September 2013. Cisco Systems Inc.