March 15, 2013, 9:56 AM — VMware made news this week, announcing that technology it acquired from virtual networking company Nicira last year will be integrated into the company's existing networking technology.
VMware is merging the networking and security product line from vCloud with the Nicira Network Virtualization Platform (NVP), which it purchased last year for $1.2 billion. The new product family will be dubbed VMware NSX, and is meant to bring virtual networking technology to the masses when it is released in the third quarter of this year.
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Network World sat down with Martin Casado, co-founder and CTO of Nicira, pioneer of the OpenFlow virtual networking movement and currently chief networking architect for VMware, to discuss how NSX is implemented and what customers should expect from it. For a deeper dive into VMware NSX's components, check out the company's blog post on the topic here.
NW: What's the architecture of NSX?
Casado: NSX sits on the edge of the network and runs either in the hypervisor or in top-of-rack switches, to virtualize the network. It exposes a virtual network to virtual machines (VMs) that looks just like a physical network, but it can be built and managed dynamically. It can grow and shrink; snapshots and copies can be made. This is really about having a new virtual networking that sits on the same physical infrastructure you already have. The goal is to do anything that you do with a VM with the network.
How will customers deploy this?
There are generally two ways customers like to consume new technology: Some like things tightly integrated, where it's all VMware technology end-to-end. For those customers, NSX will be a layer within a bundle, and it will be a seamless upgrade for what they're now running. If you're a vCloud Director or existing Nicira customer, this would be a seamless upgrade to those platforms to expose this new functionality.