VMware considered de-composing NSX into discrete products
One ring to bind all hypervisors is Virtzilla's next network virty goal
VMware considered, but rejected, the idea of creating a range of network virtualisation products by breaking out subsets of functionality from its flagship NSX product.
When VMware introduced NSX, it expected users would put it to work as a control plane for networks, taking over from routers' and switches' own software.
Plenty of NSX users have done that, but around half have started with micro-segmentation instead, according to VMware's chief technology officer for networking Bruce Davie. Micro-segmentation has taken off, he opined to The Reg in Sydney yesterday, in the wake of high profile hacks like that which took down Target. That attack, and others, showed that it's folly to operate a single data centre network, because once attackers breach its defences they are free to do what they want. Micro-segmentation makes it possible to create multiple virtual networks which means that a data centre can be configured to contain with networks within networks. That arrangement makes it rather harder for crackers to get their hands on juicy assets.
Customers implementing NSX with micro-segmentation as their first use case surprised VMware, so the company conducted research to see if it might do better selling a range of discrete NSX products with subsets of the whole package's functionality. Customers and prospects were asked if they'd buy a cut of NSX dedicated to either micro-segmentation, spanning networks across multiple data centres or automation. A cut of NSX without multiple data centre support was also considered.
Davie said that while some customers like the idea of different NSX SKUs, the research didn't show that a sales stampede would follow. So things have been kept as they are. For now.
One thing Davie said is in NSX's future is feature parity across hypervisors. Today, VMware makes a cut of NSX for vSphere and another for other hypervisors. The latter lags the vSphere version but Davie said VMware wants to get the two versions on equal footing real soon now. ®