HP has acquired software-defined networking (SDN) specialist ConteXtreme to strengthen its service provider business and network function virtualisation (NFV) offerings.
Founded in 2007, ConteXtream provides an OpenDaylight-based, carrier-grade SDN fabric controller that works on most hypervisors and commodity server infrastructure. It’s based on the IETF network virtualisation overlay (NVO3) architecture, which includes virtualised network edge nodes that aggregate flows and maps them to specific functions, a mapping subsystem based on the Location-Identity Separation Protocol (LISP), a set of application-specific flow handlers for service chaining, and a high-performance software flow switch.
The company also offers analytics that help monitor traffic and detect anomalies.
“We’re moving away from being tied to dedicated machines to having a resource pool with automated, self-service mechanisms. In the networking world, there are countless functions – firewall, caching, optimization, filtering etc. – and a bunch of inflexible hardware to do those things. NFV is about saying, ‘Why can’t we put these various functions in the cloud? Why does each function need to be on specialized and dedicated hardware?’,” explained HP’s telco business lead Saar Gillai.
“ConteXtream’s scalable and open and standards-based technology delivers innovative capabilities like advanced service function chaining, and is deployed at a number of major carrier networks across the globe. ConteXtream’s technology connects subscribers to services, enabling carriers to leverage their existing standard server hardware to virtualize functions and services.”
Gillai said the acquisition will accelerate its leadership in NFV, and that HP also plans to increase its involvement with OpenDaylight, an open source collaboration between many of the industry’s major networking incumbents on the core architectures enabling SDN and NFV.
The past year has seen HP slowly scale up its involvement with SDN and NFV initiatives.
In September last year the company announced the launch of an app store for HP customers to download SDN-enabled and virtual networking applications and tools – networking monitoring tools, virtual firewalls, virtual load balancers and the like – developed by HP as well third parties and open source communities. It also partnered with Wind River to integrate its NFV technologies with HP Helion OpenStack.