HP Offers FlexNetwork in Pay-Per-Use Solution

Businesses can get HP’s networking products from CSPs in a cost-efficient model that lets them benefit from mobile computing, BYOD and other trends.

Hewlett-Packard officials have been aggressive this year in rolling out offerings that enable service providers to offer enterprises to build their own private cloud infrastructures to leverage the cost and management efficiencies that come with cloud environments.

In April, the tech giant launched what officials called the Converged Cloud, a collection of hardware and software offerings that businesses can deploy to begin building out their infrastructure, and a month later unveiled some of their first cloud services—Cloud Compute, Cloud Object Storage and Cloud Content Delivery Network—that the company offers through a pay-per-use model, which lets businesses avoid expensive upfront capital and ongoing operating costs.

Now HP is bringing that same mentality to a program that, in partnership with communication service providers (CSPs), enables enterprises to deploy wired and wireless LANs and accompanying services to embrace new trends—including the cloud, mobile computing and bring-your-own-device (BYOD)—while only paying for the technology they use.

With HP’s new FlexNetwork Utility Advantage Program, CSPs can help businesses modernize their networks with standards-based, prepackaged networking solutions that include both hardware and software. The upgraded networks enable businesses to leverage managed services from the CSPs to get the benefits that come with mobile computing, BYOD, video and the cloud, but without having to pay the upfront capital costs or high operating expenses.

The key to the program is that the networking solutions are not owned by the communication solutions provider or the business, but instead are owned by HP. The business pays HP a monthly fee for the technology based on usage, such as the number of ports or the number of users, then its pays the CSP for whatever networking services they need.

The program is designed to protect businesses from paying upfront for their networking gear and from having to over-provision their networking infrastructures to cover spikes in demand that might happen only occasionally over the years. In addition, it reduces the ongoing operating costs, which can account for up to 70 percent of a business’ IT spend, leaving only 30 percent for innovations that can drive their businesses forward, according to Mike Banic, vice president of marketing at HP Networking.

“They want to move away from investing a lot of [operating expense] dollars and just want to pay for what they use,” Banic told eWEEK.

Through the FlexNetwork Utility Advantage Program, businesses get a modern and future-proof networking infrastructure at a manageable cost that lets them worry less about managing the network and focus more on BYOD, mobile computing, video collaboration and other technology initiatives that can be leveraged to increase their bottom line, he said.

Banic also noted that HP’s infrastructure is standards-based, making it optimal for software-defined networks. SDNs are a major trend within the networking field, which essentially calls for intelligence commonly found in expensive networking hardware like switches and moving them into software-based controllers. The aim is to make networks—which currently are seen as the bottlenecks in increasingly virtualized data centers—easier to manage, configure, scale and program.

HP offers its Virtual Application Network solution, which officials say is a complete SDN offering that runs atop the vendor’s FlexNetwork architecture. Banic said the industry is at the front of what could turn out to be a decade-long cycle with SDN, but that HP is seeing increasing interest from customers in the technology. The FlexNetwork Utility Advantage Program gives businesses an efficient way to laying the groundwork for an SDN-based infrastructure, he said.

The pay-per-use networking program is available worldwide via authorized CSPs, according to HP. The company has more information on the program for enterprises and CSPs.