Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Monday, August 8, 2022

HP Targets vSwitch with 5900v 

Adding another brick in the software-defined networking wall, HP announced their newest HP FlexFabric VirtualSwitch 5900v earlier this year, which they say targets VMware’s vSwtich by simplifying the network, adding more control for administrators, and also leveling up both network and application performance.

The new kernel-based virtual switch integrates with the VMware hypervisor, replacing vSwitch in the VMware ESXi infrastructure, and in conjunction with the 5900AF top-of-rack switches, enable some nifty control options through HP’s Intelligent Management Center (IMC). HP says that using the 5900v, their IMC is able to provide a unified view of both physical and virtual switching infrastructure with the VSX vCenter using a plugin interface that tracks the creation and movement of virtual machines.

Where previously tracking VM resources during VMotion processes wasn’t an option, HP says that the combo of the 5900v with the 5900AF and their IMC eliminates this issue. Supporting the standards for Ethernet virtual bridging (EVB), the 5900v and IMC have visibility of workloads moving from server to server or across racks through VMotion, ensuring that the network and security policy follow the virtual machine without need for administrator intervention.

The 5900v gives HP’s IMC some pretty down and dirty controls, enabling the network admin to assign policies per virtual machine, or even down to the individual application level. The VM uses the virtual switch to communicate to the top-of-rack switch and IMC to automatically provision policies that automatically migrate in tandem with the virtual machine.

HP boasts that the VEPA compliant 5900v switches also provide offload/acceleration capabilities that administrators are used to within the ESX hypervisor. Cycles can be returned to the application, optimizing power and performance while maintaining the security and visibility functions available through the IMC.

The new virtual switch, which was announced in April, has not yet hit the market, has not yet hit the market, but according to HP will be available in Q4 of this year.

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