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Posts Tagged ‘vmworld 2013’

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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