VMware Adds More Hybrid Cloud Features to Network Virtualization Tech

Latest versions of NSX-T and vRealize Network Insight focus on connectivity across on-prem data centers, branch sites, and clouds.

Wylie Wong, Regular Contributor

April 8, 2020

4 Min Read
Keynote audience at VMworld 2018 in Las Vegas
Keynote audience at VMworld 2018 in Las VegasVMware

VMware on Wednesday announced new versions of its NSX-T and vRealize Network Insight software that simplify network virtualization and improve network visibility and security.

The two products, along with VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud, make up VMware’s Virtual Cloud Network, the company’s portfolio of software defined networking (SDN) technologies. It allows enterprises to deploy and manage network connectivity and security from internal data centers and branch locations to multi-cloud environments.

While previous versions of NSX-T network virtualization and security software for data centers added support for public clouds and platforms that run containers on bare metal, the latest release, NSX-T 3.0, adds new networking and security features that improve the company’s vision to deliver a public cloud experience on premises, VMware executives said.

For example, a new feature called NSX Federation allows enterprises to synchronize policies across all their locations, from their own data centers to multiple cloud environments, the company said.

“Security policies attach and move with the workload, ensuring that policy compliance is maintained during workload failover or migration between locations,” the company said in a blog post.

vRealize Network Insight 5.2, the latest version of VMware’s network visibility and analytics software, provides end-to-end visibility across the network, from LAN and WAN to the data center, Sanjay Uppal, senior VP and general manager of VMware’s VeloCloud business unit, said in a press briefing.

Related:VMware’s SDN Strategy Now Revolves Around Hybrid and Multi-Cloud

The increased visibility, which includes the virtual overlay and physical underlay, will allow enterprises to troubleshoot problems quicker, such as determining if a slow application is a network problem or a database problem, said Tom Gillis, senior VP and general manager of VMware’s Network and Security business unit.

“This gives you a single pane of glass that is going to allow very rapid resolution,” Gillis said during the briefing.

VMware is one of the leaders in the growing SDN market, where it competes against networking players such as Cisco Systems, Juniper Networks, Arista Networks, Extreme Networks, and startups such as Aviatrix, said Brad Casemore, IDC’s research VP of data center networks.

With its latest announcements, VMware is continuing its pitch to enterprises that are looking to adopt or extend their SDN capabilities as they increasingly adopt cloud-native application architectures and multi-cloud environments.  

“This is going to be a very contested, tremendously competitive market, so VMware wants to get out in front and say, ‘Look at what we’ve done in terms of our VMware Virtual Cloud Network,” Casemore said. “We are bringing together all this functionality on premise and in the public clouds, and we are doing it from the core to the edge, from data centers to the branch locations and to the cloud.’”

Related:Why VMware Bought the Network Monitoring Startup Nyansa

Virtual Cloud Network Adoption

VMware on Wednesday said that it has more than 15,000 Virtual Cloud Network customers and 50 percent growth each fiscal year since it announced the offering two years ago. That includes 89 of the Fortune 100 companies and eight of the top 10 telecommunications providers, Gillis said.

By simplifying the network, VMware customers have cut both capital and operational expenditures by north of 50 percent, Gillis claimed.

“We can squeeze almost twice as much capacity out of the existing infrastructure by creating better utilization,” he said. “More importantly, as we add more and more automation, we can save time, and time is money.”

As for NSX-T 3.0, the NSX Federation also allows enterprises to create “fault tolerant zones” that allow them to contain network problems to a single zone, minimizing problems that may result, the company said.

Other new features in NSX-T include intrusion detection and prevention capabilities that work with the product’s firewall.  

“This is a huge step forward,” Gillis said. “It allows us to identify compromised machines, stolen credentials, and malicious traffic that would otherwise appear normal and natural.”

VMware vRealize Network Insight 5.2 features new “flow-based application discovery” that takes advantage of machine learning. It also includes new AWS Direct Connect support and enhanced Kubernetes visibility, the company said.

In other announcements, VMware said it was working with Microsoft to offer SD-WAN solutions for Azure Edge Zones, which are small-footprint extensions of Azure placed on-premises with enterprises or with carriers or mobile operators.  

VMware NSX-T 3.0 is available immediately. VMware vRealize Network Insight 5.2 is expected to be available before May 1.

About the Author(s)

Wylie Wong

Regular Contributor

Wylie Wong is a journalist and freelance writer specializing in technology, business and sports. He previously worked at CNET, Computerworld and CRN and loves covering and learning about the advances and ever-changing dynamics of the technology industry. On the sports front, Wylie is co-author of Giants: Where Have You Gone, a where-are-they-now book on former San Francisco Giants. He previously launched and wrote a Giants blog for the San Jose Mercury News, and in recent years, has enjoyed writing about the intersection of technology and sports.

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