December 12, 2012, 11:01 AM — Nicira, the software-defined networking (SDN) startup that VMware purchased for $1.2 billion earlier this year, plans to release an SDN product that runs independent of the underlying hypervisor and hardware that will work in VMware environments and beyond.
Nicira co-founder and CTO Martin Casado, during an interview at VMware offices in Cambridge, Mass., this week, shared the firmest details yet of how Nicira technology will fit with VMware's.
Although he did not provide specific details about the integration or its time frame, Casado says he expects the capabilities to be released in mid-to-late 2013.
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BACKGROUND: Why VMware spent $1.2 billion to buy Nicira
SDN portends a fundamental shift in the way data centers that will be similar to the move to server virtualization that VMware ushered in, says Casado, developer of OpenFlow, a programmable network protocol designed to manage and direct traffic among routers and switches from various vendors.
Evolution of next-generation networking technology hadn't kept pace with the advances on the compute side, until virtual networking's emergence in recent years, Casado says. The ability to abstract network controls from the underlying hardware gives more control and agility to network engineers and allows the data center to operate at the same speed of compute virtualization.