Geek Out with HBO: It’s All About Network Virtualization

SiliconANGLE founder John Furrier and Wikibon’s Dave Vellante ”geeked out” with Mike Banic, VP of Marketing at HP and Walter Kerner, VP, Network Services and IT Security at HBO for the “geeky segment” of HP Discover 2012 to discuss the most popular area in the market—network virtualization.

Furrier opens up the interview with Banic by introducing the SDN movement. HP was actually the very first company to have shipping Openflow. According to Banic, HP started driving innovation around software defining networks in 2007, when the company started working with Berkley and Stanford University. While the company was working on an archaic version of Openflow a way to make infrastructure  programmable was created. By the end of 2011, there were 16 different network switch platforms that were available and supported Openflow 1.0. Shortly after, it expanded to a total of 25 platforms. As of right now, there are 15 million ports and since Openflow is supported, the company has the ability to be part of an SDN Infrastructure.

There are three parts to an SDN architecture:

Infrastructure layer—Must be programmable in a consistent way, regardless of the vendor.

Control layer—Controller provides the way to program the infrastructure to to bring the application to life across the network.

Applications—One for network virtualization, one for security app, load balancing applications.

One of the statements that stands out the most in HP’s SDN strategies is that the company is open. Closing things off would not be in the customer’s best interest. When Banic was asked what the number one mistake was that people make with SDN, he simply replied, “They’re limiting their imagination.”

Kerner had a slightly different subject to discuss—programability. One action he discussed taking was to put security at every network port.

“Networks were designed to  be administered in a very structured manner,” Kerner said.

The interview closed with a question about what is the biggest advancement that will create a new industry, and Banic said with ease, “solving the operational complexity.”

See the full interview below, and be sure to check out our archived videos from HP Discover, full of other great interviews and analysis, here.