VMware's NSX, partners aim to surround Cisco

VMware has partnered with Cisco's biggest rivals to spread its NSX virtualized networking platform around data centers.

VMware on Monday launched VMware NSX, its network virtualization platform via its Nicira purchase, and telegraphed how it is hoping to surround Cisco in the data center.

NSX aims to virtualize networking and be a cog in VMware's vision of a software-defined data center. As noted when VMware bought Nicira , the company is hoping to virtualize networking like it did servers. VMware NSX will be available in the fourth quarter and launched with 20 partners.

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It's not too surprising that Cisco wasn't among the heavy hitters with VMware. Cisco has its own software-defined networking vision and not-too-surprising the company sees its software as the center of the party.

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Consider the partnerships announced by VMware and how it is hoping to surround Cisco with the networking giant's competitors. To wit:

  • HP and VMware said they would partner on a federated network architecture that will manage and automate physical and virtual infrastructure. HP's Virtual Applications Networks SDN Controller will federate with VMware’s NSX. The general theme is that HP's networking gear will integrate nicely with VMware’s software.
  • Juniper said it will expand a partnership with VMware to integrate its core, access and edge gear with NSX. Like the HP deal, VMware and Juniper will integrate platforms, automate management and provide management tools.
  • Citrix rolled out its NetScaler Control Center for VMware to automate and deploy networks using NSX. By integrating NetScaler's control center with NSX, Citrix said it will be able to deploy network services quickly.

There's plenty of co-opetition going on here. For starters, VMware is a strong partner of Cisco's server and data center architecture efforts. On virtualized networking software, the two partners will compete. Citrix used VMware's Nicira purchase to get tighter with Cisco and boost NetScaler's footprint.

The network diagram for NSX and virtualized networks.


As for HP and Juniper, the VMware partnerships help them do battle in the networking trenches.

Add it up and VMware's NSX platform can elbow its way into networking infrastructure via key partnerships.