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VMware NSX is experiencing tremendous growth across the board – in number of customer deployments, sales, and partnerships. Lots of organizations have been vocal in their support of NSX, including Heartland Payment Systems, University of New Mexico, Sugar Creek, Tribune Media, and many others.

These customers are deploying NSX for use cases such as micro-segmentation, automation for IT and developers, and application continuity. We’re helping customers to scale their NSX use cases with a number of new capabilities, resources and tools. Everything from design guides, operations guides, and white papers to courses, certifications, and new product capabilities.

Today we have more good news to share with you on that front. We just announced our intent to acquire one of our strategic technology partners: Arkin. As we have seen among our rapidly growing customer base, the Arkin platform helps IT organizations to simplify planning and operations for NSX, allowing them to quickly scale NSX to thousands of applications.

Arkin brings two important capabilities to VMware. It extends the cross-domain visibility of VMware vRealize Operations to more of the SDDC infrastructure. From compute and storage to networking and security – across network overlays and underlays.

Arkin also helps IT organizations with planning and compliance management for NSX micro-segmentation. Let’s look at each of these scenarios in more detail.

Cross-domain visibility with mapping of overlay-to-underlay networks

Software-defined data centers raise practical day-to-day operational challenges. Virtual environments are modular, distributed, and dynamic. With lots of changing relationships and interdependencies across workloads and infrastructure. In these environments, correlation and context awareness are critical.

Arkin addresses these challenges by providing visibility across technology domains and across virtual and physical networks. “Operational visibility, which accounts for both hardware and software, is critical to how organizations succeed in using next generation data center technologies,” said John Spiegel, IS/Global Communications Manager at Columbia Sportswear.

Arkin leverages the rich metadata from NSX and provides real-time metrics and analytics. Including details of virtual machines, network streams, overlay-to-underlay mappings, and firewall rules. All within the context of an application-centric approach.

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By correlating the cross-domain data, operations teams have full context and visibility of traffic flows while monitoring and troubleshooting issues. Customer production deployments have proven that Arkin can significantly reduce the time spent on root-cause analysis and problem remediation – by as much as 90%.

Arkin also makes IT operations more accessible to cross-functional data center and cloud teams. Capabilities such as plain English search, common lexicon and articulation, and sharing features simplify communication and collaboration across IT operations.

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Simplified operational planning and compliance for NSX Micro Segmentation

When mid to large-sized enterprises are first starting out with NSX, they often struggle with determining how to micro segment applications on their networks. They don’t know what information is required to get started – or where or how to get it.

Arkin helps solve this problem by analyzing and categorizing VMs into logical groups based on specific compute and network characteristics. It then automatically generates a recommended model for what security groups to create, and the specific firewalling rules for each group. This makes life much easier for Security Architects and Engineers. “Arkin real-time flow analytics makes it extremely easy to implement micro-segmentation security,” said Brian Lancaster, Executive Director of Information Management at Nebraska Medicine.

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Beyond this initial modeling, Arkin also automates auditing and compliance for NSX. Arkin continuously tracks and analyzes the relationships between virtual machines and security groups. Any deviation from the desired compliance state is instantly logged and an alert generated.

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Contact your VMware sales team for an overview and demonstration of NSX network virtualization and security combined with Arkin operational planning and visibility. In the meantime, you can watch this video on using Arkin to simplify end-to-end operations for NSX.

Dom