Joining a parade of vendors hopping on the VMware NSX bandwagon at this week’s VMworld, Silver Peak has announced – and is now delivering – the integration of its data acceleration software (Agility) with VMware’s network virtualization platform to provide point-and-click traffic redirection and workload optimization from one virtual machine (VM) to another between virtualized data centers (vDCs). We are partnering with VMware to address the next step: simplifying and automating the deployment of these services across virtualized data center, said David Hughes, CEO of Silver Peak
“This makes it simpler. It really opens the door for people outside networking… redirect traffic… workload by workload with point and click.”
Networking technology can be complex to implement for non-networking IT personnel, but as the network transforms from a hardware model to a software delivery model, it becomes essential for non-networking professionals to enable and manage network services at-will, he said. “Our core competencies in WAN optimization and virtualization have Silver Peak uniquely-positioned to help VMware customers automate and optimize the deployment of virtualized network services across their software defined data centers.”
The company said Agility is now a part of the NXS existing console GUI so virtualization managers can optimize their data traffic automatically—without any manual configuration by the networking staff. The process is accomplished with just the point-and-click of a mouse. Hughes added that their support for networking and security within the vCloud Suite also helps cloud managers easily scale from a few applications to thousands of optimized applications.
Based on technology acquired with last year’s $1.26 billion Nicira buy, NSX appears to be VMware’s direct challenge to Cisco’s networking domination and its own SDN/SDDC aspirations, and probably bodes poorly for the future of the very successful Cisco/EMC/VMware converged infrastructure initiative, VCE. That’s all speculation, but what isn’t up for debate is that Cisco was conspicuously absent from the vendors who were supporting NSX, including HP, Dell, Juniper Networks, F5 Networks, Riverbed, Citrix Systems and Brocade.
Several noted analysts are giving mixed reviews to NSX. Forrester Research principal analyst Andre Kindness, said it is VMware’s response to a networking industry that remains slow to catch up to the programmability and automation that the rest of the data center industry has embraced. “Networking is too manual and complex… [and] VMware is saying we can’t wait, so this is what we need.”
However he noted that in general, this is an overlay, and my issue with that is you’ll still need to talk to the physical side. “In an overlay world you have 16 million VLANs theoretically. All of these are going to be important. If they are important, then wouldn’t you be cutting up physical network resources for that amount of VLANs, as well? The two worlds need to interact. The first step is the top-of-rack area with this integration, but it’s only part of the answer. The physical and virtual worlds need to be interacting as a whole.”
Gartner’s Joe Skorupa, VP and distinguished analyst, called the NSX launch a good start, but it’s narrow and incomplete. “VMware needs to get beyond thinking like a virtualization company and start thinking like a strategic data center company. It’s time to go big or go home,” Skorupa said.
As for Silver Peak, which just wrapped up a record fourth quarter and fiscal year 2013 fuelled by increased demand for its virtualized software products, it is enjoying the network evolution from hardware to software, said Hughes. “We were really surprised by how quickly the market moved from buying hardware to buying software. This next phase, we’re really just at the beginning of now… how can leverage our technology in the virtualized data center.”
Pricing and Availability
Silver Peak virtual WAN optimization software is available today for free self-service trials from its software marketplace. Agility integrated with VMware network virtualization is available today for no additional charge as part of the Global Management System (GMS) 6.2, which starts at $4,995.
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