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Category Archives: Network Virtualization

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!

VMware Weekly News Recap: November 22

VMware News

This week, VMware announced a new joint solution with partner Palo Alto Networks that will automate and accelerate the deployment of next-generation network security with centralized management across physical and virtual domains. On a related note, Rod Stuhlmuller of the NSX team talks about the importance of an often-overlooked feature set fundamental to VMware NSX -network security.

On Tuesday, the vCloud team announced  the vCloud Hybrid Service is opening a new data center in Dallas. For more information, read Mathew Lodge’s post on the vCloud blog.

Also this week, the vSphere team announced the general availability of Pivotal CF. Pivotal CF is Pivotal’s commercially supported hybrid Platform-as-a-Service solution built on Cloud Foundry technology, enabling customers to rapidly develop, deploy and scale applications. Pivotal CF is optimized to run on VMware’s proven and widely adopted vSphere platform.

Lastly in VMware news, 2013 marks 15 years since VMware was founded and this week we celebrated 15 years of VMware history with an infographic highlighting some important, impressive and even quirky milestones and stats from throughout VMware’s past.

Industry News

In industry news, CRN released its list of Top 100 Executives of 2013 and four VMware executives were included on the list:

  • Pat Gelsinger, Top 25 Most Influential
  • Frank Rauch, Top 25 Sales Leaders
  • Martin Casado, Top 25 Disruptors
  • Raghu Raghuram, Top 25 Innovators

SearchSDN’s Patrick Hubbard explores how VMware NSX will change the network admin role. “Remember your first exposure to VMware ESX? … VMware NSX will bring the same kind of change to the network admin role – bringing with it great career opportunities for those who stay ahead of the curve.”

Ellen Messmer of Network World covers the new joint solution from VMmware and Palo Alto Networks, writing, “[the] goal is to increase the security and efficiency of the virtualization process by adapting the Palo Alto VM-based NGFW, the VM-300-HV, to work under the management and security framework envisioned under NSX.”

InformationWeek’s Mark Melvin discusses problems that can occur when dealing with software-defined networking in his article “Can SDN Adoption Solve Real-World Problems?” Melvin writes, “If you think software-defined networking is all hype and no substance, think again. SDN deployments could potentially solve complex resource issues, especially in segments like healthcare and education.”

InformationWeek’s Charles Babcock reports on Pivotal’s announcement to launch a cloud app development platform, Pivotal One. He writes, “the release of Pivotal One marks the first time a supported, on-premises version has been made available, giving companies the option of using Cloud Foundry for in-house development.” Over at VentureBeat, contributor Jordan Novet explains why Pivotal believes data and cloud technology go together.

InformationWeek’s Sue Fogarty explains seven essentials to software-defined networking. She writes that while SDN “may be the technology du jour,” it is still largely conceptual. The article goes on to “boil SDN architectures down to the essentials, including OpenFlow, SDN APIs, and overlay networks.”

NetworkComputing’s Natalie Timms explains how software-defined networking can be secured. She writes, “With the emergence of software-defined networks (SDNs), security must become a core component of the network. Network security can no longer be an afterthought, or added with the assumption that it will ‘just work’ on top of an existing network.”

Lastly this week, Forbes contributor, Joe McKendrick details how cloud computing can save the government $20 billion a year, citing a new study that suggests adoption of cloud offerings — particularly Platform as a Service middleware and application development tools — can cut the cost of U.S. government application development costs to the tune of $20.5 billion a year.

VMware Weekly News Recap: November 15

VMware News

*** Updated: Don’t miss our live Google Hangout on Dec. 5 at 10 a.m. PST to talk about the future of IT with futurologist Paul Saffo, along with a number of influential industry veterans and journalists.***

In VMware news this morning, Dan Wendlandt, director of product management for OpenStack at VMware writes a blog post titled “Advancing Support for OpenStack” on the VMware Company Blog. The post recaps announcements made last week by VMware at the OpenStack Summit in Hong Kong along with an overview of our OpenStack activities to date. (Did you know that we’re a top ten contributor to the OpenStack framework?)

Yesterday evening, VMware’s Erik Frieberg shared his perspective on Amazon’s announcement Wednesday that it has entered the DaaS market with its new product, WorkSpaces. Erik welcomes Amazon to the market, a move which validates VMware’s vision. He then goes on to illustrate why not all DaaS are created equal: “We believe customers get a better value, a superior product and a comprehensive, long term strategy with VMware.”

In other VMware news, the vCloud team announced on Wednesday that vCloud Hybrid Service has expanded support for healthcare customers, aiming to help organizations comply with HIPAA and the HITECH Act. The announcement included:

  • Completion of an examination of our information security program against essential elements of HIPAA and HITECH,
  • Availability of a Business Associate Agreement,
  • Availability of a whitepaper to support customers looking to achieve HIPAA/HITECH compliance

Lastly, the vSphere team unveiled on Tuesday that the company will resell Pivotal CF later this quarter as outlined at VMworld 2013 San Francisco. This was announced in conjunction with the availability of Pivotal CF along with the launch of Pivotal One Services. For more information on how Pivotal CF on VMware vSphere is making it easier for developers to build and deploy modern applications using platform as a service, read the blog post by Director of vSphere Product Marketing Michael Adams.

Industry News

In industry news, ZDNet analyst Dan Kusnetzky explains where VMware and Desktone will play in the desktop-as-a-service market following the recent acquisition news. Kusnetzky speculates, “It is likely that Desktone’s products will be attractive to even more partners now that VMware is behind them.”

Talkin’ Cloud’s Chris Talbot reports on VMware’s decision to partner with Mirantis to create new product offerings intended to help simplify the large-scale deployment of OpenStack-based cloud computing environments. In the article, Talbot quotes Boris Renski, co-founder and executive vice president of Mirantis: “[We] will be able to drive innovations that simplify the deployment of highly scalable and high-performing clouds.”

Bloomberg’s Dina Bass reports on Pivotal’s announcement to introduce new cloud computing software. In the article, she quotes Scott Yara, a senior vice president at Pivotal: “I have called it the Android of the cloud. The question is how do you build an open model that allows applications to move from corporate data centers to public cloud and across different public clouds?”

The VAR Guy’s Christopher Tozzi reports on Canonical’s new partnership with Pivotal to deliver its Cloud Foundry OpenStack implementation on Ubuntu. Tozzi writes, “It seems a safe bet that Canonical’s vision for Ubuntu OpenStack deployability goes beyond the specific partnership with Pivotal. Even though the company may be using that agreement to lead the charge, it is eager to build a strong partner ecosystem of OpenStack PaaS providers throughout the channel.”

Lastly, Datacenter Dynamics’ Penny Jones explains the software-defined datacenter. In her article, “Who Buys Software Defined?” Jones states, “The DevOps movement is paving the way for the software-defined data center, and this means the sale is starting to swing for vendors in the space.” She goes on to describe her takeaways after catching up with some of these vendors at VMworld Europe in Barcelona last month.

Stay tuned for our Weekly News Recap next Friday and be sure to follow @VMwareNews and subscribe to the VMware Company Blog to stay up to date with all VMware news and announcements throughout the week.

Advancing Support for OpenStack

Last week, in conjunction with the OpenStack Summit in Hong Kong, VMware made two announcements that highlighted how the company is continuing to advance the OpenStack framework.

In our first announcement, we highlighted our participation in the development and release of OpenStack Havana, delivering code to support OpenStack projects in compute, networking and storage. With technically complex infrastructure like cloud computing, the scalability of the cloud solution is driven by the components used to build it. This is especially true with a developing framework like OpenStack. VMware provides a proven portfolio of best-in-class components, including existing technologies such as VMware vSphere and new innovations such as VMware NSX network virtualization and VMware Virtual SAN.

That news was followed by a joint announcement from VMware and Mirantis to develop and deliver solutions for large-scale cloud deployments based on the Mirantis OpenStack distribution and VMware technologies. Fuel, the open source tool for OpenStack deployment and management developed by Mirantis, will add support for automating the deployment of the Mirantis OpenStack distribution in conjunction with VMware vCenter Server and VMware NSX technologies. The partnership reflects customers are looking for OpenStack solutions built using their existing VMware infrastructure and they want access to the best components available.


VMware: A Top Ten Contributor to the OpenStack Framework

Over the past year, VMware has built a dedicated software development team focused on OpenStack, making sure that the best way to run OpenStack is on top of VMware technologies. In the process VMware has become a significant contributor to the OpenStack community and one of the top ten contributors to the OpenStack framework.

VMware Sessions at OpenStack Summit Hong Kong

The VMware team delivered 17 sessions at OpenStack Summit, covering the full spectrum of OpenStack technologies. Sessions ranged from technical deep dives, to customer success stories, to industry panels with OpenStack peers.

For more information on VMware’s OpenStack activities, check out these additional resources:

Posted by Dan Wendlandt, director of product management for OpenStack at VMware