VMware plays up network virtualization momentum in 2014

VMware NSX is in use by several major global brands, along with three of the top five investment banks

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VMware NSX was only recently released to market, and Q4 was the first quarter of availability. According to VMware, NSX has already been purchased by some of the most respected global enterprise and telecommunication firms, such as McKesson, Starbucks, Medtronic, Best Buy, and China Telecom.

Eschenbach went on to say, "The deals we've closed in the fourth quarter signal that innovative companies are making the architectural decisions that place network virtualization and the software-defined data center at the heart of their data center strategies, and we are winning the architectural battle."

In Q4, Enterprise License Agreements (ELAs) continued to be a way for VMware to extend their strategic relationship with customers. According to the company, since its release, VMware has already seen a nice uptake of NSX becoming part of their ELAs. In fact, according to Eschenbach, in a number of ELAs, NSX was actually the driving force behind the ELA itself. He went on to say, "people really view VMware rounding out all three pillars of the software-defined data center, from compute to now networking, and ultimately storage."

In fact, he boldly stated that his company expects NSX will do for networking what vSphere and server virtualization did for compute.

VMware also plugged a joint venture between itself and Palo Alto Networks that involves a partnership backed by a new jointly developed network security solution. The offering was designed to enable customers to use the VMware NSX network virtualization platform to automate provisioning and distribution of Palo Alto's network security in their software-defined data centers.

Network virtualization promises a new level of flexibility and scalability within the world of networking, and the technology is obviously well suited for the modern virtualized data center. VMware NSX is definitely one of the leading platforms emerging to address this new market.

But to increase the adoption rate of network virtualization, there needs to be a driving force. Today, the No. 1 driver seems to be agility. Is that enough to convince the mainstream? Maybe not, but as the technology takes root, consumers will find new use cases and create new reasons for adoption. Remember, it wasn't that long ago that server virtualization was all about server consolidation and reducing the data center footprint. We've come a long way since then.

The IT community has seen enough presentations and marketing slides to know what's possible with network virtualization, and they seem to understand the vision that VMware and others are trying to paint. The question now is have we reached the point of where the rubber meets the road? Is 2014 the year we finally move beyond PowerPoint or proof-of-concept and into production deployment? Is your organization using it? If not, what's holding you back?

This article, "FreeBSD 10 introduces brand-new virtualization platform," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in virtualization at InfoWorld.com.

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