LAS VEGAS. HP is now delivering a part of its previously announced SDN networking solution and expanding cloud management for Wi-Fi access points.
The new HP Cloud Managed Network Wireless LAN solution will enable enterprises to manage their wireless infrastructure without the need for an on-premises controller. Kash Shaikh, senior director, Product and Technical Marketing, Networking at HP explained to Enterprise Networking Planet that the Cloud Managed Network concept is somewhat similar to Cisco's Meraki solution.
Cisco acquired Meraki for $1.2 billion in 2012. Cisco has since expanded the Meraki technology with new hardware options. Shaikh said that in his view, the HP solution offers a more consistent controller approach with HP's existing Wi-Fi architecture.
The Cloud Managed Network option isn't for all of HP's access points, however. It's currently limited to the 300 series.
HP is also announcing new APs today. These include the HP 560 and 517 IEEE 802.11ac wireless access points. The HP 560 is a dual-radio 802.11ac-capable AP that offers the promise of up to 1.3 Gbps of Wi-Fi bandwidth when used in the 5 GHz spectrum; it drops down to 450 Mbps in the 2.4 GHz range.
The HP 517 is a wall jack-mounted 802.11ac AP offering a different deployment paradigm. HP has been building wall jack-mounted Wi-Fi access points since at least 2009, when the MSM317 debuted with 802.11 b/g.
Over a year ago, HP announced its formal BYOD SDN portfolio. A key part of that portfolio announcement was an SDN security application called Sentinel. HP has now renamed Sentinel to Network Protector and is finally making the application generally available. HP Network Protector sits on top of HP's SDN controller, known as the Virtual Application Network (VAN) Controller.
Network Protector is set to be the centerpiece of the broader SDN marketplace that HP announced in September of 2013.
Shaikh said that HP has been working with partners to help move the SDN marketplace along. He noted that HP had a partner workshop in December of 2013 and is currently targeting June of 2014 for the general availability of the SDN marketplace.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist