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VMware's Software-Defined Datacenter Taking Shape

VMware integrated Nicira technology into new VMware NSX family of network virtualization services; company also creating hybrid cloud services unit.

VMware's software-defined data center plans are starting to take shape, and the company's Nicira acquisition from last year will figure prominently in those plans. That, according to VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger, who was speaking at a joint EMC/VMware organized event in New York City, the Strategic Forum for Institutional Investors. Gelsinger also announced the formation of a business unit around hybrid cloud services.

While Gelsinger didn't offer specifics on its Nicira-related plans, a company press release did sketch in some of the details on the company's plans to merge its vCloud Networking and Security with technology from its Nicira acquisition in a new product family, called VMware NSX.

"VMware's strategy has been around, historically, virtualization, and largely virtualization of compute, of server virtualization" said Rob Smoot, Director, Product Marketing for VMware, during a phone conversation clarifying some of the statements in the press release. "As we move forward, we've talked about our vision of the software-defined data center, where we virtualize storage, networking, security, essentially all the physical layers of the data center that are essential as you move to a cloud environment. So we're abstracting, pooling, and automating the workflows on top of all those different layers, and presenting all those layers as a service that can be easily manipulated by software. From a management perspective, it's largely about 'how do you automate away a lot of the tasks that have traditionally taken a lot of manual workflows, a lot of scripting, a lot of consultants involved, then tying together things outside of the platform. "

Essentially, the new solution family will virtualize network, security, storage and management services for use with VMware and other hypervisors and cloud management systems. How this all will work when it makes its public debut later this year is covered in this blog from VMware vice president of Networking & Security Hatem Naguib.

VMware also created a new business unit around hybrid cloud services, which will be headed by former Savvis sales and marketing president Bill Fathers. The press release on the new Hybrid Cloud Service unit was bereft of details, but Smoot also offered a bit more clarification. So far, he was able to divulge that the unit will create a set of services mainly targeted at small to medium-sized companies or groups within larger organizations who want to be able to use public cloud services for offloading workloads for development projects, but then be able to bring those workloads back to production-hardened on-premise servers or private clouds. Hybrid Cloud Service itself will be available later this year through VMware's channel partners.

About the Author

Michael Domingo has held several positions at 1105 Media, and is currently the editor in chief of Visual Studio Magazine.

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