HP’s Virtual Application Network addresses this issue by creating configuration “profiles” for various applications, which are maintained in a management console for automatic provisioning to ensure that new applications can be brought online immediately. A first step in this process is to virtualize the network – “separating it into discrete bundles that we can touch any way we want” – on top of which, Nielson added, is layered a “control plane, an open, programmable interface that we have been developing through work with our IRF technology and OpenFlow” that essentially virtualizes the network infrastructure. These “discrete elements of virtualized network instances” HP is calling Virtual Application Networks.
In terms of profiles, an instance of an Exchange Application Network, for example, might have different characteristics for different users, different geographies, different times of day and different needs. Other use cases around which a profile might be built could include video streaming with different priorities, IP telephony, UC or rich media communications. And in the case of proprietary applications or apps with custom configurations (which Nielson estimates are approximately half of the total), users can create their own template – though with launch HP will have some predefined profiles, and expects to be able to add more through integration with the F5 iApps platform, which has more visibility into applications.