HP has announced a partnership with F5 to speed up deployment of applications within virtualisation technology.
The joint venture brings together HP’s Virtual Application Networks and F5’s Application Delivery Networking (ADN). The former works by virtualising the network itself and automatically configuring it to fit with virtual applications, whereas the latter brings virtualisation and automation to the specific applications.
By bringing the two together, the firms can offer easy-to-deploy virtual applications with the network capabilities necessary, but from just one central management screen – the HP Intelligent Management Centre.
“Legacy networks are static, inflexible and require too many manual steps to securely deliver new cloud applications and services to users,” said Joe Skorupa, vice-president and analyst at Gartner.
“By moving towards an automated, policy-based management paradigm to ensure the network is optimally configured from the application, to network, to user, enterprises can speed application deployment considerably while reducing the potential of errors caused by manual configuration,” he said.
The solutions have been tested with Microsoft Exchange 2010, as well as server virtualisation and disaster recovery deployments, with HP and F5 claiming it took minutes rather than days or hours to roll out.
The companies also claimed it offered reduced downtime, increased virtual machine density, and made applications perform three times faster.
The technologies can also be used by companies wanting to adopt a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) solution.
By using F5’s ADN software, businesses can bring together their monitoring of devices and access to application control into the same single platform under the heading of HP BYOD.
This is the latest in a line of networking products that fall under the umbrella of "software-defined networking". The idea behind the trend is to tackle the move to cloud and to more virtual environments.
By using software rather than hardware to control the network, it offers more flexibility for the inherently more flexible and scalable solutions cloud computing provides and stops the barriers that traditional hardware products sometimes build between the legacy and the new.
It is set to be a large theme at this week’s Interop conference in Las Vegas, where HP and F5 chose to make their announcement.