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Alcatel-Lucent and HP Combine on Enhanced Data Center Networking, Security and Storage Solutions

June 04, 2015

Alcatel-Lucent and HP have been strategic partners for many years across a broad array of initiatives around the world which leveraged their combined expertise in networking, computing and storage.  And, as the world has become increasingly data center-centric, late last year the two companies announced an expansion of their global alliance to address the needs of large enterprises and service providers to build network-enabled, distributed cloud solutions that were more agile, secure and reliable.  

The fruits of the enhancements, aimed at business continuity and disaster recovery capabilities were demonstrated to Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) customers at the recent AON Technical Summit for EMEA customers. This was a bit of a sneak peek. It has now become much more with the announcement from the partners at the HP DISCOVER event in Las Vegas, Nevada, that the solution is ready for prime time.

Putting the Alcatel-Lucent and HP puzzle pieces together

While my previous posting on the capabilities demoed in Europe went into the details of all of the enhancements being offered by the joint ALU-HP data center solutions, a quick review is in order.

The solutions will allow enterprises to provide more cost-effective, reliable services more rapidly with a focus on business continuity, disaster recovery, secure data transport, data center interconnect and remote copy applications. As the partners rightly explain, all of these areas when combined and orchestrated will enable operators of large data centers to address growing data demands using cloud architectures, with greater security and flexibility.

The components on the networking side are based on Alcatel-Lucent’s IP edge platform, the Alcatel-Lucent 7750 Service Router and the Alcatel-Lucent 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS) family of optical products which will be part of the HP Networking portfolio. The big value-added of enabling large enterprises to stay online all the time in the face of outages comes from the use of certified long distance synchronous, low-latency replication using HP 3PAR RemoteCopy for distances up to 135 kilometers. The solution components from HP include: HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage, HP 3PAR Remote Copy software, HP StoreFabric Storage Networking and Alcatel-Lucent 1830 PSS optical products.

The partners note that the validated Alcatel-Lucent and HP solutions regarding the secure and synchronous data replication between data centers over long distances is at rates not previously achievable via standard storage fabric switching. With large data centers from major enterprises proliferating around the world, the need for speed over long distances has become a must-have as service interruption for any period of time is not an alternative. It is why ALU and HP have gone through such strenuous testing, and why the solutions will be available to customers pre-tested and integrated as part of the HP Complete Program in the Americas and EMEA. Other regions will be added soon.

Plus, this is not just about business continuity.  It is also about ease of management, speed of service creation and operational efficiencies.  In fact, it is explained that when combined with the recently launched HP Distributed Cloud Networking platform (DNC) solution large data center operators will be enabled to be more responsive thanks to the ability to automatically create data center network services and policies.

For those not familiar, DCN is HP’s networking virtualization solution that has been architected specifically for service providers and extra large enterprises. It is based on the Virtualized Services Platform (VSP) from Alcatel-Lucent’s Nuage Networks SDN venture. The benefits going forward of DCN are to have it serve as a critical component for creation of an open and dynamically controlled data center network. It is a network where customers can automatically deploy secure cloud-based SDN across distributed and disparate data center configurations in just minutes instead of taking days if not weeks.   

Image via Shutterstock

Basil Alwan, President IP Routing and Transport, Alcatel-Lucent:  “Our strong networking experience in building world-class IP and optical networks gives us unique expertise in providing technology that can meet the rigorous demands and needs of enterprises who are transforming their operations to a cloud environment.  Working with HP allows us to blend our highly synergistic portfolios and expertise to give customers new ideas and choices that fit their complex and specific needs.”

As pointed out when the capabilities of the enhanced partnership were first revealed, the replication capabilities and instant secured availability of the replicated remote site at very high speeds in the event of a potentially catastrophic event is immensely valuable. As we all know from reading the headlines, in high-transactions where millions if not billions are at stake and where data centers have multi-tenancy, failure is not an option.

That said, providing the ability to assure that any data center problems are hidden from customers is extremely complex. All of the aspects of the data center pillars— relating to networking (inside and outside the data center), computing and storage—need to be optimized to work flawlessly when they are most needed. It is why partnerships of those with deep knowledge across the pillars are the order of the day.    

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

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