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VMware's software-defined data center will include NSX network virtualization

Last week, at a Strategic Forum for Institutional Investors, VMware presented its strategy on the growing importance of the software-defined data center (SDDC) by saying the move from the physical to a software-defined architecture is a necessary step toward delivering the cloud. Through the software-defined data center, VMware said it would extend the benefits of virtualization to all areas of the data center: network, security, storage, and management.

As part of that vision, VMware revealed its intentions to merge the company's homegrown vCloud Networking and Security (vCNS) product line with the technology that it acquired last year in the $1.26 billion acquisition of Nicira, an open source software-defined networking (SDN) startup. This new single-product family, dubbed VMware NSX, is based on a common technology foundation that works across multiple hypervisors and cloud management systems beyond those from VMware.

Currently dominating the enterprise server virtualization market, VMware appears to be turning its attention from the virtual data center to a much longer-term play within the hybrid and public cloud. Beyond server virtualization, there are other legs to the stool of a software-defined data center or a hybrid and public cloud that VMware would have to achieve -- and one of those requirements is network virtualization.

Early on, VMware's vSwitch in the ESX hypervisor did little more than connect the virtual server NIC to the physical NIC. To become relevant in a modern software-defined data center, VMware needed to improve network programmability and add higher-level features such as VLANs, firewalls, and load balancing, then provide gateways to allow virtual machines to easily move between clouds.

By combining the best of Nicira NVP and VMware vCloud Network and Security into a single unified platform, it sounds as though VMware NSX finally provides the company with the capabilities needed to fully address that challenge.

...MORE

Read the entire InfoWorld Virtualization Report article

Published Monday, March 18, 2013 7:16 AM by David Marshall
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