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Category Archives: Network Virtualization

The New Reality of Data Center Security

DC Security TodayMicro-segmentation redefines enterprise security

It seems every few days, a new, high profile data breach dominates the headlines. Tens of millions of user accounts hacked, 40 million credit card numbers leaked, customer names and addresses posted to forums: This is the reality of today’s cybersecurity landscape.

One of the oldest approaches to security both outside and within the realm of IT is compartmentalization. You don’t put all your eggs in one basket, and you don’t entrust the security of your data center solely to a perimeter firewall. Network World dubbed this approach “crustacean security“ way back in 2007.

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#VMworld Networking & Security Spotlight Sessions

Martin Casado

Martin Casado

Last year at VMworld, we launched the VMware NSX network virtualization platform to great fanfare. At VMworld 2014 in San Francisco, our Networking CTO Martin Casado will give two Spotlight Sessions to explain just why NSX is taking off with customers. If you are attending the show, you’ll want to make sure you register for the sessions to get a seat.

Hit the jump for more details on the sessions.  Continue reading

Virtual Networking Today and Tomorrow: Get Connected, Glimpse the Future

By Milin Desai, senior director, product management, VMware NSX

Network virtualization is quickly gaining momentum; in the market, online and through a growing set of resources to help you learn, engage, and even glimpse the future of networking. Organizations such as China Mobile, China Telecom, Colt, eBay, McKesson, NEXON America, NTTcom, Schuberg Philis, Synergent, USDA and WestJet and hundreds more are on the path to virtualizing the network.

I have two new resources to share with you: check out this VMware strategy and directions video, in which I outline the business case for network virtualization and discuss where we are headed with VMware NSX.

Then visit www.virtualizeyournetwork.com. It’s a content-rich site where you can explore all things network virtualization, engage with others about the Software-Defined Data Center and Network Virtualization, and learn how both of these are evolving not only how we run our businesses, but also our careers. The site hosts content from multiple sources and allows you to learn more about network virtualization, its business value, and its technical capabilities. We’ve designed the site around the perspectives and business priorities of Team SDDC – the people that are making network virtualization a real and practical solution.

Business demands are demanding a change. We’re in an exciting time and I invite you to follow along, give us feedback, and soon, join a new vibrant community of network virtualization enthusiasts.

VMware: A Networking Visionary

VMware has been on a journey to bring the same benefits of server virtualization to the network for over a decade, starting with virtual switches, accelerating to our vCloud Networking and Security suite, and culminating with our 2012 Nicira acquisition and launch of our VMware NSX™ network virtualization platform.

In the new Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Center Networking, VMware received recognition for its visionary approach. In fact, VMware was placed furthest on Completeness of Vision axis. We believe this level of recognition is remarkable considering:

  • 2014 marked the very first year that VMware was considered for the Data Center Networking Magic Quadrant
  • VMware is the only pure-play software vendor recognized in the Magic Quadrant

We believe this is clear validation - the world of data center networking has been forever changed.

Major Cloud Players Agree

VMware’s initial effort to virtualize network switching has also been validated by other public cloud service providers such as Amazon and Google. Those providers are also building software-based virtualized network stacks that run on commodity x86 infrastructure and can interconnect with proprietary hardware-based solutions when needed.

So, even if you look to other cloud providers for inspiration, the vision is the same, and it’s getting validated at massive scale. That said, VMware differs in a fundamental, but significant way. The overwhelming majority of enterprises are architecting for a hybrid cloud future. If you want a pure networking and security software stack to give you complete portability and centralized management and operations in a hybrid cloud, NSX is it. If you want an Amazon-like networking and security experience in your data center, NSX is the technology to get you there. Remember – Amazon’s roots are in retail. If hardware-oriented networking and security solutions could deliver a better total cost of ownership, don’t you think that Amazon would have used those solutions?

This is Just the Beginning

In my short time as Americas CTO, I have been blown away by NSX customer interest. Early adopters were initially looking at network virtualization for business continuity benefits such as being able to move workloads between data centers without having to reconfigure network or firewall settings, or worry about physical network dependencies. That said, agility has become the primary driver. Traditional data center networking and security remains the primary workload provisioning bottleneck. A VM with an OS and application stack be can delivered in minutes, but it can take a week or longer to provision the network stack and firewall rules. If a workload is moved to a new data center or cloud, you may have to do it all over again.

Our NSX technology allows security policies and firewall rules to be mapped to objects (VMs) instead of IP addresses. That alone can provide a massive reduction in the costs and complexity associated with traditional security management. One of our clients reduced their firewall rule set from 150,000 to less than 5,000 rules. This frees security specialists to worry about more important things like safely empowering business agility.

NSX isn’t just a VMware technology – it’s an extensible platform with a rapidly growing ecosystem of third party networking and security software partners that have built software that plugs right into the stack. Best of all, when operational tasks are automated, partner solutions that plugged into the platform simply go along for the ride.

Like I’ve said before, automation should be a feature, not a professional service. Building a true software-defined data center, where value is derived through software will let you continue to safely automate more and more, while maintaining hardware and provider independence and lowering costs. There is a massive industry of traditional IT heavyweights that will tell you that this approach is bad for you, mainly because their bottom line will always depend on substantial professional services to go along with any technology deployment. They don’t only get you at the initial deployment, but also for every upgrade as well. Network virtualization is one of many key technologies that will allow you to break away from a legacy IT methodology and into a scalable and flexible automated environment. When you add that to a software-defined data center with tightly integrated management stack, automated service delivery and remediation comes “out of the box.” While this isn’t the end to professional services, service offerings will transition more to enabling unique business requirements rather than constantly re-inventing the technology wheel.

It’s good to see Gartner – a strong voice of the IT community – include our vision in its latest Data Center Networking Magic Quadrant.

What are your thoughts?



Disclaimer – Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.



The Future of IT is Software-Defined

Why the Software-Defined Data Center is a Nexus of Business Possibility

VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger

By Pat Gelsinger

The $2 trillion Information Technology industry is in the early stages of a tectonic shift, as we transition from the previous Client-Server platform to the Mobile Cloud era. For the first time in history, we’re seeing dramatic changes driven by both the consumer and enterprise worlds. In many ways, everything is up in the air. At this critical juncture, the demands on IT are greater than ever. Whether you’re an individual consumer or a business leader, you want essentially the same thing: instantaneous access to the apps and data you care about, without hassles or hiccups, and with confidence and compliance.

As we make this massive shift from the PCs and servers of old to the Mobile Cloud era, we’re experiencing a fundamental restructuring of how IT value gets created and consumed. Simply put, software has usurped hardware as the place where value resides. This is driven largely by well-established laws of technology: software can be quickly adapted, programmed and automated. By contrast, hardware is inflexible, labor-intensive and specialized. As a guy who spent 30+ years in the hardware world, this is a difficult fact to acknowledge – yet it’s undeniable.

To wit, we have entered the age of the Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC). The SDDC is a data center where everything has been virtualized and infrastructure can be delivered as software on demand. This software-defined approach will become the model for every leading data center in the world because it represents a radical and powerful change agent for the enterprise. At its core, the SDDC empowers IT to move at the speed of the business, by rapidly delivering apps and services as they are needed.

The technical argument for the Software-Defined Data Center is airtight: Virtualize all components, abstract the functionality, pool the resources and automate the processes. In this model, hardware becomes increasingly invisible – seen solely through a layer of dynamic, scalable and agile software. Many of the core elements of this approach have been pioneered by companies like Google, Amazon and Facebook. But while they’ve accomplished a great deal, their implementations have been specifically designed for their specialized environments. Now is the time for us, as an industry, to take these valuable learnings and apply the software-defined approach for the benefit of all businesses – and all the millions of applications that power our economy.

Next Step: Virtualize Your Network

Compute virtualization was just the opening act of the SDDC story. According to VMware’s analysis, by virtualizing roughly 70 percent of our customers’ compute workloads over the past decade, businesses saved billions of dollars and in the process, they accomplished something else: They made it easy to spin up new applications in literally seconds. This, in turn, exposed a frustrating reality: As app provisioning has sped up exponentially, we have discovered that the operating model of the network is simply not equipped to keep pace. In fact, the network is now a barrier to achieving the full benefits of virtualization, because the movement of all of these dynamic apps is now severely constrained by the limitations of the physical network. The fact is today’s network is operationally intensive, requiring significant manual intervention and vendor-specific expertise at every turn.

The answer to this challenge is to virtualize your network. This represents the next chapter in our industry’s inevitable move to a software-defined approach to IT.  Network virtualization takes the fast and fluid operational model of a virtual machine (VM) and extends that across your network. It advances networking with new levels of automation, programmability, and management by leveraging the power of software. Network virtualization also transforms the economics of networking within the data center by reducing the need for costly, proprietary networking hardware. As we build virtual networks we are strengthening the foundations of the hybrid cloud, which gives businesses the ability to move valuable apps and data seamlessly between public and private cloud environments.

Charting the Course to a Software-Defined Future 

Modern business is here today. It’s global, competitive, collaborative, and extremely dynamic.  But too often, the technology infrastructure supporting these businesses is limping along – slow, inefficient, brittle, and generally incapable of keeping up. The best companies in the world are charting a path to a software-oriented model of IT where infrastructure drives strategic advantage. IT professionals with the courage to embrace this new reality – and let go of the hardware-centric models of the past – will change the landscape of business forever. The future is bright. Let’s move forward.

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VMware Weekly News Recap: February 21

VMware News

Carl Eschenbach at PEX 2014

Last week’s VMware Partner Exchange Conference was a blast. We were busy “Mastering the New Reality” with our partners and empowering them to help drive the future of IT. Interested in learning more about news coming out of the show? In case you missed any of VMware’s announcements coming out of the show, read more about news regarding End-User Computing, VMware Virtual SAN and enhancements to VMware’s Partner Network on the VMware Company Blog.

Carl Eschenbach at PEX 2014

In VMware news, the vSphere team recently launched VMware vSphere Mobile Watchlist – an app that allows users to monitor the virtual machines they care about in their vSphere infrastructure remotely on their phone. You can download the new app on iTunes or Google Play.

Lastly, the Network Virtualization team is gearing up for RSA Conference 2014 (#RSAC) next week, where they will take an important step in outlining details of its vision for advancing security for the software-defined data center. Read more about our activities at the show on the Network Virtualization blog and be sure to follow VMware NSX on Twitter for real-time updates and news from the showroom floor.

Industry News

In VMware news, Business Cloud News’ Jonathan Brandon reports on VMware’s new partnership with Google to bring Microsoft legacy apps to ChromeOS. He writes that “the companies believe that enabling Windows applications on Chromebooks will make the desktop as a service platform more popular among enterprises.”

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VMware Sweeps Virtualization Review’s Reader’s Choice Awards and Ultimate Buyer’s Guide

We love end-to-end solutions. We work with many of our partners to help customers achieve a simplified, more efficient, flexible, cost-effective, service-oriented IT environment with products from across the range of VMware offerings. So we couldn’t have been more excited (and honored!) to learn that VMware topped nine different categories in this year’s 2014 Virtualization Review Reader’s Choice Awards and Ultimate Buyer’s Guide. The awards strive to identify “who’s better and who’s best among the growing list of cloud and virtualization companies and products.” As Virtualization Review’s Editor-in-Chief Michael Domingo puts it, “VMware had a busy year innovation-wise, and it shows in this year’s results.”

In the end-user computing category, three VMware products were chosen over the competition as Reader’s Choice Winners in the “Application Virtualization,” “Desktop Virtualization and VDI,” and “Mobile Virtualization and BYOD” categories. VMware EUC solutions dominated the end-user computing category with wins and it’s a testament to our continued commitment to technology innovation and ongoing customer engagement. The categories and winning products for EUC include:

To really drive the awards home for VMware, Virtualization Review named us Reader’s Choice Award Winners in several other product categories, showcasing the breadth, depth, quality and innovation VMware is known for. Products were featured from various VMware product groups including Cloud Infrastructure, Cloud Management, Networking and Security, and Storage and Availability. The categories and winning products include:

The competition was fierce, and we can’t agree more with Virtualization Review’s Michael Domingo: “It’s a testament to a vibrant market that continues to generate innovations, improvements and evolutions in technology that are helping enterprises make data more accessible, mobile, cost-effective and secure.” Thanks to everyone who voted. We’re looking forward to an even more innovative 2014!