HP with FlexNetwork: You're going to have to update your network, so you might as well do it right

Updated: May 09, 2011

Aside from the HP versus Cisco narrative that the press loves, there is a major need for a convergence on networks, but it's not just a convergence with the networks themselves, it's a convergence with the rest of the enterprise and the rest of the cloud and mobile requirements bubbling up fast. [Disclosure: HP is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]

A future-proof network is more about management and security than hardware and platforms. And it's also about ecosystems: HP is partnering extensively with Citrix, Microsoft and Riverbed. No one vendor can or should be the sole network IP supplier (just like there should no be one cloud provider).

What's more, the virtualization trend that begets the cloud trend that supports the mobile trend all require intelligent networks that have security ingrained -- not gained after the fact. As workers depend more on cloud and hybrid computing services, the network is the cloud.

When I hear people complain about the risks associated with cloud, I dare them to look closely at their own mission critical networks. Often what they find are existing, in-place risks that dwarf what they fear most about the cloud. The fears about security, reliability, control, data and privacy: These risks already live on their disjointed networks.

Those networks, incidentally, are the weak link between their nice, safe, controlled data centers on premises and all the people and partners that actually need to use them. The boundary is not the enterprise, it is the ways in which their networks can adapt.

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