VMware NSX: Nicira's Next Generation SDN at VMworld?

VMware NSX, leveraging Nicira, could offer some software-defined networking (SDN) surprises at VMworld 2013. Channel Partners should tune in. Here's why.

The VAR Guy

June 26, 2013

2 Min Read
VMware NSX: Nicira's Next Generation SDN at VMworld?

VMware (VMW) NSX, key to the company's software-defined networking (SDN) push, will launch in the second half of 2013. The technology "brings together the best of Nicira Virtualization Platform (NVP) and VMware vCloud Network and Security (vCNS) into one unified network and security virtualization platform – a simple migration path for customers already leveraging NVP and vCNS." What does all that technology jargon mean to channel partners, especially as VMworld 2013 approaches in August?

The simple answer goes back to SDN and VMware's software-defined data center (SDDC) strategy.

VMware acquired Nicira in 2012 for about $1.2 billion as part of the company's push beyond server virtualization. So what's the upside? As VMware explains it: "Network virtualization decouples and isolates virtual networks from the underlying network hardware, like server virtualization decouples and isolates virtual machines from the underlying server hardware. Once virtualized, the physical network is used only for packet forwarding and treated as an IP backplane. Virtual networks are then programmatically created and operate completely decoupled from the underlying hardware, offering the same features and guarantees of a physical network; yet with the operational benefits and hardware independence of virtual machines."

That's a fancy way of saying Nicira's SDN technology will allow channel partners and service providers to more effectively deploy, manage and optimize networks on top of commodity hardware. 

VMware and Nicira have plenty of SDN competition. And traditional networking giants — including Cisco Systems and Juniper Networks — have their own SDN innovations.

Still, it sounds like new VMware and Nicira innovations are on the way. According to VMware, "Expected to launch in the second half of 2013, VMware NSX will provide a full-service, programmatic, and mobile virtual network for virtual machines, deployed on top of any general purpose IP network hardware."

It's a safe bet VMware will share NSX updates at VMworld 2013 in August. Channel partners would be wise to tune in.

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