Hewlett Packard Enterprise's (HPE) decision to shutter its OpenSDN offering will likely benefit partners after the vendor was "all over the map" in terms of SDN, says one analyst.
HPE confirmed to the media late last week that it has ended development of OpenSDN in favor of offering solutions from partners instead.
"We continue to invest and participate in relevant open-source efforts to provide industry leadership and acceptance," an HPE spokesperson said. "Our mission has always been to be partner-centric and provides customers with choice and open systems."
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, said in an interview that HPE was an early mover in the SDN space, but that its approach to the technology has been broad and somewhat scattershot. The decision to shed the OpenSDN platform simplifies the offerings and gives partners a more manageable lineup of products to work with, Kerravala said.
"HPE has been all over the map when it comes to SDN," he noted. "[The vendor] was early out of the gates with this, but the industry is coalescing around two different solutions. …I don't think HPE is a leader in a lot of SDN projects."
The two solutions that are dominating the space are Cisco Systems' Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) and VMware's NSX offerings, according to Kerravala. Those are the platforms that most organisations are basing their future SDN environments on, and the challenge for HPE partners has been to find out where HPE's solutions can fit within ACI and NSX implementations, Kerravala pointed out.
Even though OpenSDN primarily targeted telcos and web companies, having a more focused HPE and a more streamlined SDN portfolio will help the channel in that effort.
OpenSDN was based on technology acquired in 2015 - before HP split in two - when the company bought ConteXream, whose products included a carrier-grade SDN controller for network-functions virtualisation (NFV) environments.
ConteXtream developed an early SDN controller based on the OpenDaylight Project, a collaborative open-source effort under the auspices of The Linux Foundation. That controller was thought to be a key reason for HP buying ConteXtream two years ago.
However, HPE has other SDN products in its portfolio, in particular its Distributed Cloud Networking lineup aimed for enterprise datacenter and VAN SDN controller, which is used by both enterprises and campus environments.
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