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Beware VMware! Nutanix sprays all over Virtzilla's networking territory

Teases FLOW product as alternative to NSX

Nutanix this week teased analysts with a software-defined networking product called FLOW and made no secret of its intent to muscle in on VMware's turf.

NSX is VMware's software-defined networking and security platform, based on acquired Nicira technology from 2012. Its latest iteration works with the Pivotal Container Service, providing the networking services containers need.

VMware does over a billion dollars in business with the NSX product - Virtzilla execs announced earlier this month that it had an annual run rate of $1.4bn – and VMware believes network virtualization could be bigger than server virtualization.

Nutanix's FLOW is for network management/micro-segmentation and will feature integration with acquired Netsil's container mapping technology.

Chief product and development officer Sunil Potti told analysts that FLOW will be focused on converging the management and provisioning stacks for networking and security.

Hyperconverger Nutanix gobbles Netsil


He said Netsil's software was non-invasive software-defined networking, containerised into the network traffic with built-in machine learning elements and deployed in any VM, container, or public cloud.

He talked it up as a natural extension of Nutanix's product portfolio strategy to network visualisation, automated network provisioning, network service insertion and chaining, and native micro-segmentation capabilities.

William Blair analyst Jason Ader confirmed Netsil's container application network topology map will be integrated into FLOW. He said: "Netsil will map the customer's network and help Nutanix customers discover and block malicious activity on the network."

FLOW may also feature integration with load balancers like F5, and rack switches like those from Arista and Brocade.

Analysts were told that FLOW will be much easier to deploy and operate, as well as cheaper, than VMware's NSX. Of course. ®

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