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Posts Tagged ‘VMware’

Last month, VMware made a big splash in the Enterprise Mobile Management (EMM) market by plunking down over $1.5 billion for AirWatch. EMM, formerly known as mobile device management (MDM), has been one of the hottest market segments in tech, primarily due to the seemingly unstoppable force know as BYOD. This acquisition comes a little over a year after Citrix purchased Zenprise to complement its mobile offering. IBM also acquired FiberLink in late 2013, signaling the market for EMM is finally going through some long-awaited and badly needed consolidation given the vendors’ mad rush into it.

The AirWatch acquisition makes a tremendous amount of sense for VMware, as the company has been trying to strengthen its position in both the end-user computing market and the mobility space. AirWatch will roll up to Sanjay Poonen, an executive whom VMware hired to run the end-user computing space. VMware had hired Poonen away from SAP, where he led that company’s mobility strategy. VMware is the de facto standard today in server virtualization and is looking to parlay that position into success in mobile computing.

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It seems we can’t go more than a couple of weeks without someone making another product announcement related to software defined networks (SDNs). A couple of weeks ago, VMware announced its NSX network virtualization platform at its user conference, VMworld. Along with the platform, VMware highlighted a number of NSX partners, one of which was Juniper Networks.

This week, Juniper took the covers off it’s own SDN controller by announcing the general availability of its Contrail controller. While Juniper’s vision matches that of VMware’s software defined data center, the approach from Juniper is markedly different than that of VMware. In addition to being a direct competitor to NSX, the Contrail controller is a completely standards-based controller that uses OpenStack as the orchestration protocol, whereas NSX is more of a proprietary platform meant for VMware-only environments.

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It’s been about a week since VMworld ended and we’ve all had time to digest the event and the implications for the IT industry. This was VMware’s 10th VMworld conference, and the milestone show certainly didn’t disappoint as the almost 25,000 attendees were treated to many new products and themes from VMware and its partners. I thought the show contained many subthemes to the high-level theme of “virtualization,” but many questions still linger. From my perspective, these were the main themes and the questions still left unanswered:

  • Networking. The show was highlighted by the launch of VMware’s network virtualization platform, NSX. During his keynote, CEO Pat Gelsinger discussed how the network was the next area of IT to be transformed by virtualization. While I think Gelsinger is right and virtualization will have significant impact on networking, I think it’s not a fait accompli that VMware is the game-changing vendor. First, I thought the reaction to NSX was somewhat muted at the show compared to the media coverage. Part of the issue is that VMware has been talking about this product since it bought Nicira, so many might not have considered it news. The second issue is that most of the audience was made up of server managers, people who really don’t have much interest in or knowledge about networking. In fact, when, during the opening keynote, when Gelsinger was au pining about the joining of network and compute technology, Twitter was lit up with comments like “I can’t even get my network and server teams to talk to one another.” So this raises two questions: Are enterprises set up correctly to take advantage of NSX? And if not, will network managers embrace NSX or will they prefer using technology from a network vendor?

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During last week’s VMworld event, traffic visibility leader Gigamon debuted what it is calling “Visibility as a Service,” or VaaS. Network visibility was a big theme at VMworld this year as VMware launched its NSX network virtualization product.

During his keynote, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger stated that the network is the next IT domain to be impacted by virtualization and, in fact, it’s the limitations of the network that hold organizations back from being able to migrate to a software defined data center (SDDC) or IT-as-a-service.

This sounds great during a keynote, but, practically speaking, virtualizing the network has its risks and complications. I’ve heard many people use the benefits of server virtualization to describe how the network can be transformed and what the impact will be. While I don’t fully agree with this analogy, I do believe that some of the risks are similar. While many companies enjoy the fruits of virtualization today, remember that this technology went through some significant growing pains to get to this point.

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All eyes are on San Francisco this week.  Why?  Because Colin Kaepernick is going to have the best season for a second year quarterback since Dan Marino’s magical 1984 season?  That’s a pretty good reason, but the pre-season still has a week left.

No, this week downtown San Francisco is overrun by 25,000 supreme geeks as VMware tries to convince everyone that the software defined data center is the future and other vendors look to align themselves with this message.

One of the vendors attempting to do just that is WAN optimization vendor Silver Peak. Yesterday, Silver Peak announced integration with VMware’s NSX network virtualization to create greater network agility. Given the trends in networking – the continued increase in virtual traffic combined with a shift to hybrid cloud architectures creates a need for greater network agility.

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