VMware creates network function virtualisation team

Acquisitions-wrangler to take Virtzilla into conflict with Cisco, again

VMware will create a new team dedicated to what it calls “networks functions virtualisation” (NFV).

News of the initiative slipped into a canned statement about a pair of promotions at Virtzilla. The newly-titled ones are Sanjay Mirchandani, now corporate senior veep in addition to his role as leader of VMware's Asia-Pacific and Japan (where he's doing rather well as the region was singled out for praise in Virtzilla's most recent earnings call).

Also enobled as a corporate senior veep is Shekar Ayyar, a chap VMware credits as “… responsible for aligning strategy and long-term planning across VMware businesses as well as managing the company's mergers and acquisitions, and strategic investments.” Ayyar also drives VMware's acquisitions, including those of Nicira and Airwatch.

Ayyar will now “lead the development of a Network Functions Virtualization vertical market team within VMware,” which is “engaging with CTOs and CIOs to deliver a program designed to help the telecommunications industry accelerate innovation and launch new services faster, easier and with less expense through virtualization of telecommunications core networks and network functions.”

It's no surprise to see VMware have a waft at NFV, which is most often expressed without VMware's plurals and typically used by carriers to offer network functions as a service. That can mean firewalls for business or dumbing down set-top boxes so their GUIs are delivered as a virtual machine, almost VDI-style.

However NFV is put to work, it obviously has not escaped VMware's attention that it is getting a lot of mentions in networking circles and therefore represents a chance to get ESX and ESXi running inside carriers' data centres. Vmware looks like it is s ready to handle this job, thanks to the instant clones feature added to vSphere 6 that spawns VMs at a rate of 64 in six seconds. That sounds like enough to help carriers serve customers.

Ayyar's track record means his appointment to lead this team looks to be a sign VMware wants to make a serious move into the NFV market. If it does, it'll be heading into battle with Cisco again: The Borg is tight with carriers. No wonder it bailed from VCE. ®

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