The data center is where all the action has been in networking over the past few years. We saw the introduction of the network fabric, the rise of software defined networks (SDN), a number of startups emerge, and we’ve seen a fair bit of M&A activity as well. Because of the rapid evolution, we’ve seen almost every major network vendor – Cisco, Brocade, Juniper, Extreme, Avaya, Alcatel-Lucent and others – revamp the data center portfolio.
The one vendor that I thought was noticeably absent from the data center networking wars was HP. The company outlined its FlexFabric vision last year, but the only products it had to support the related architecture was the 10K, which is a campus switch, and the 12,500, which was great when H3C first released it, but was getting a bit old even when HP acquired H3C. Now, it’s clearly past its prime. The company has positioned the 12,500 as a data center switch and has beefed up the features set accordingly. The 12,500 now supports Ethernet Virtual Interface, SPB and other data center features. As of now, it’s limited to 10 Gig-E, but HP has stated that 40/100 Gig-E will be available later this year. Despite the added features, though, HP is the vendor I get the least amount of inquiry on regarding data center networking.