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Nicira platform brings network virtualization to cloud

Nicira aims to bring enterprise private networking to the cloud. The company's Network Virtualization Platform (NVP) oftware-based system that creates a distributed virtual network infrastructure in cloud data centers. It is being used by AT&T, eBay and Rackspace
Written by Paula Rooney, Contributor

In its first six months in business, startup Nicira has sold AT&T, eBay, Fidelity, NTT and Rackspace on its Network Virtualization Platform (NVP).

The NVP, which was publicly unveiled today, reportedly addresses the last mile of cloud computing -- network virtualization.

In a press release issued today, Nicira chief exec Stephen Mullaney said the platform will bring enterprise private networking to the cloud.

"NVP is a software-based system that creates a distributed virtual network infrastructure in cloud data centers that is completely decoupled and independent from physical network hardware," the press release explained.

Nicira NVP

Nicira NVP

"The system forms a thin software layer that treats the physical network as an IP backplane. This approach allows the creation of virtual networks that have the same properties and services as physical networks, such as security and QoS policies, L2 reachability, and higher-level service capabilities such as stateful firewalling.  These virtual networks can be created dynamically to support VM mobility anywhere within or between data centers without service disruption or address changes."
Though it is a newcomer, Nicira was founded and funded by some industry heavyweights, including the Stanford scientist and company cofounder/CTO Martin Casado (to right) whose research led to the creation of OpenFlow and Software-Defined Networking, and on the financing side, Mark Andreeson's investment firm and VMWare co-founder and former chief Diane Greene.

Co-founder CTO Martin Casado

Co-founder CTO Martin Casado

Users have said the platform allows them to repurpose networking infrastructure on demand and move applications dynamically, thus reducing service delivery and greater operational speed and flexibility.

NVP is available now and delivered through a usage-based, monthly subscription-pricing model, which scales per virtual network port, the company said. Pricing scales by use.

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