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VMware + Nicira = VMware NSX

NSX is also supposed to provide an open framework for integrating ecosystem services for networking and security

In the name of the software-defined data center VMware says it's going to merge its vCloud Networking and Security product line with Nicira's Network Virtualization Platform (NVP) and come out with a single product family based on common technology.

It'll be called VMware NSX and should launch some time in the second half.

The widgetry is supposed to represent the "full potential of network virtualization by working across VMware and non-VMware hypervisors and cloud management systems, as well as any underlying networking hardware."

NSX is also supposed to provide an open framework for integrating ecosystem services for networking and security.

VMware says by virtualizing the network, NSX will let customers accelerate application deployment, lower capital and operational costs and transform network operations in a non-disruptive manner.

The stuff is supposed to work on any general-purpose hardware.

You will of course remember that VMware's $1.26 purchase of Nicira last year got up Cisco's nose.

Cisco's probably not going to care too much for VMware's description of networking as "stuck in the past" in a blog written by its VP of networking and security Hatem Naguib.

Naguib says NSX is supposed to provide a full-service, programmatic and mobile virtual network for virtual machines, deployed on top of any general-purpose IP network hardware.

The NSX platform promises to bring together the best of the Nicira NVP and vCloud Network and Security (vCNS) and expose a complete suite of simplified logical networking elements and services including logical switches, routers, firewalls, load balancers, VPN, QoS, monitoring and security; arranged in any topology with isolation and multi-tenancy through programmable APIs - deployed on top of any physical IP network fabric, resident with any compute hypervisor, connecting to any external network, and consumed by any cloud management platform including vCloud and its open source rivals OpenStack and CloudStack.

The NSX platform is assembled with five basic components: controller cluster, hypervisor vSwitches, gateways, ecosystem partners and NSX Manager but, Naguib says, "at the heart of VMware NSX is an extensible platform that enables partners to register their services with the VMware NSX controller, and seamlessly insert the respective capabilities into virtual networks. The use of open interfaces and open protocols allows an ecosystem of partners to easily integrate with VMware NSX using well-known interfaces based on widely used open source software."

Partners can also attach L4-L7 service appliances to VMware NSX to be exposed as services available to virtual networks.

Customers already leveraging vCloud Networking and Security and the Nicira Virtualization Platform to virtualize networking are supposed to have a simple path to migrate to NSX.

For the details see http://blogs.vmware.com/console/2013/03/vmware-nsx-network-virtualization.html.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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