April 8, 2020
VMware on Wednesday announced a couple of robust releases to its Virtual Cloud Network, as it approaches its second anniversary. The company also talked about its work with Microsoft to offer SD-WAN solutions for Azure.
The new milestones in its VMware Virtual Cloud Network vision include VMware NSX-T 3.0 and vRealize Network Insight 5.2, a network management and monitoring tool.
VMware’s Tom Gillis
“The concept behind the Virtual Cloud Network has always been clear,” said Tom Gillis, senior vice president and general manager, networking and security business unit at VMware. “In an increasingly heterogeneous enterprise infrastructure environment, virtualization can pull all these computing resources together and can make infrastructure more agile, more efficient, and more nimble.”
VMware boasts more than 15,000 customers between SD-WAN and NSX data center. Virtual Cloud Network is an integral component of VMware Cloud Foundation. It is offered on all major hyperscale cloud providers — AWS, Azure, Alibaba Cloud, Google Cloud, IBM Cloud and Oracle Cloud.
“We feel that virtual networking is beginning to approach mainstream,” said Gillis.
The new, robust releases align with VMware’s vision for its virtual cloud network to deliver the public cloud experience on premises.
NSX-T 3.0 introduces NSX Federation. With this ,enterprises can deliver a cloud-like operating model with fault isolation domains and global policies synchronized across all locations. A fault isolation domain allows customers to better ensure that networks aren’t brittle. They will now be able to contain network problems to a single zone, minimizing the severity and impact of problems when they arise.
NSX-T 3.0 offers comprehensive threat protection. VMware is taking internal security to the next level following the introductions of Service-Defined Firewall and NXS Intelligence, with the general availability of VMware NSX Distributed Intrusion Detection and Prevention (IDS/IPS) capabilities for the Service-Defined Firewall.
“What we’re doing with NSX is going beyond the simple problem of microsegmentation to doing true internal firewalling. That means we look at in-band traffic,” said Gillis. “We put intelligent filtering around applications to stop both in-band and out-of-band attacks.”
With the NXS-T 3.0 release, enterprises can extend full stack container networking services including switching, routing, distributed firewall, microsegmentation and load balancing to the newly released VMware vSphere with Kubernetes and VMware cloud Foundation 4 platforms, the VMware Tanzu portfolio, and non-VMware Kubernetes platforms, according to the vendor.
vRealize Network Insight 5.2
VMware vRealize Network Insight 5.2 introduces flow-based application discovery across multiple VMware platforms. It uses machine learning to better understand categorized applications by tier.
The latest release is available as on-premises software or SaaS. VMware vRealize Network Insight 5.2 provides end-to-end network visibility and analytics to optimize network performance and to troubleshoot the Virtual Cloud Network. The entire VMware Virtual Cloud Network includes the virtual overlay and physical underlay. It spans data centers, multicloud environments and branch locations.
There are three key aspects to the new release: automation/machine learning for discovery; visibility into the public cloud (AWS); and …
… VMware SD-WAN application and business policy tied into the overlay and underlay.
Microsoft Azure Edge Zones are designed to transform how cloud and edge work together. They are local extensions of Azure that solve compute, storage and service availability closer to the customers. VMware is working with Microsoft to offer SD-WAN solutions for Azure Edge Zones that deliver Azure services and enable customers to seamlessly deploy and run virtual network functions (VNFs), including VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud.
VMware’s Sanjay Uppal
“We’re very pleased that we’re the launch partner with Microsoft to get this done,” said Sanjay Uppal, senior vice president and general manager, VMware SD-WAN. “We are that SD-WAN fabric that ties these things together.”
VMware’s Virtual Cloud Network vision has grown organically and through acquisitions. The company has acquired Arkin Net, VeloCloud, AVI networks, Nyansa and Veriflow.
The Channel Opportunity
“The channel is critical here. The role of the channel has changed dramatically. Ten years ago, it was hard to put together a data center. There was a big systems integration component,” said Gillis. “Today that is less important as we’re selling complete solutions that are engineered to fit together. Where we need channel partners is to add value on top of that.”
The value Gillis refers to is partners’ ability to help customers understand the radical shifts we’re seeing in technology. Additionally, partners can help with the organizational transformation that goes along with that.
“This creates a terrific opportunity for our channel partners to provide higher level, consultative services. So, how do I manage my private cloud infrastructure to be as efficient and agile as the public cloud? How do I connect tens, hundreds or thousands of branches in a way that I’m not beholden to expensive, fixed-line infrastructure? Instead, I have a more flexible infrastructure that can managed by service level objectives,” he said. “The skills and nature of the value of the channel are changing. It’s moving up the stack too.”
VMware NSX-T 3.0 is generally available today. VMware vRealize Insight 5.2 will be available by May 1.
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