In 2011 Marc Andreessen made his now famous statement, “Software is Eating the World”; a wild claim at the time, but one that proved to be highly prescient. This declaration has become the underpinning of how VMware delivers solutions that enable our customers to be more agile, efficient and innovative with their IT operations – through software.

When we launched our vision for a Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) in May of 2012, we said it would enable IT transformation through security, automation, management control, and services choice in a way that translated to greater simplicity, programmability, and consistency across various customer IT environments.  We executed on that vision in partnership with the technology and open source ecosystem so that customers would have the best of breed approach when transitioning to a modern software infrastructure.

The explosion of cloud and container services has driven a significant need for scalable, automated and policy-driven networking across heterogeneous environments in a way that can only be realized through software abstraction.  Foundational to network virtualization, the virtual switch has become a strategic component for delivering fast, agile infrastructure.

In line with how we’ve executed and delivered on our SDDC vision, we are now seeing our customers converge on a networking standard.  They are telling us that their preferred model of the virtual switch is to use the natively available virtual switch in the hypervisor and program it using APIs as required. The adoption of native virtual switch as part of comprehensive network virtualization deployments is accelerating, and the primary reasons are for operational simplicity, security, and pace of new feature advancements. In fact, we’ve found that VMware’s native virtual switch implementation has become the de facto standard for greater than 99% of vSphere customers today.

Moving forward, VMware will have a single virtual switch strategy that focuses on two sets of native virtual switch offerings – VMware vSphere® Standard Switch and vSphere Distributed Switch™ for VMware vSphere, and the Open virtual switch (OVS).  This strategy is about investing in the priorities of our customers and simplifying the platform to create the best, most secure experience possible.

By using the native virtual switch on the platform, customers simplify their IT landscape by reducing their upgrade times, streamline their support, deploy new features more quickly, and prepare themselves for the next wave of change agents.

This strategy is particularly significant as enterprises continue to move towards new agile models driven by developers building next-generation applications and running cloud services. These customers are going from on-premises private clouds, to public clouds, to cross-cloud architectures. Standardizing on software across all of these – beginning with the native virtual switch – helps our customers make the transition to their digital future.