VMware To Buy Software-Defined Networking Vendor

Arkin helps speed SDN deployments and operations.

"Software-defined" has become a major part of VMware's strategy, one of the pillars on which the company has staked its future success. That includes software-defined networking (SDN) and its more comprehensive cousin, the software-defined datacenter (SDDC), which abstracts more layers of technology, including storage, networking and compute. In another sign of how important this push is, VMware has announced its intent to buy SDDC vendor Arkin.

Arkin's technology is focused on SDDC operations, increasing visibility into software-defined infrastructures. It allows for easier setup and management of SDDC, including greater security. As VMware explained in a blog posting about the buyout, "Arkin leverages the rich metadata from NSX and provides real-time metrics and analytics. Including details of virtual machines, network streams, overlay-to-underlay mappings, and firewall rules. All within the context of an application-centric approach."

The acquisition, which is expected to close this month (the dollar amount of the purchase wasn't disclosed), will extend the ability of vRealize Operations, VMware's chief management tool, to work across more areas of the SDDC, including the NSX layer. NSX is VMware's primary SDN technology.

According to VMware, a key benefit of Arkin is reducing the time spent on analyzing and fixing problems. It claims a reduction of up to 90 percent in some cases, due to increased visibility into virtual machines, VXLANs and distributed services across the compute, storage, network and security domains.

VMware pointed out that Arkin was identified by analyst firm Gartner as one of its "Cool Vendors in Enterprise Networking, 2016." A VMware press release quoted an Arkin customer about its benefits:

"Arkin and VMware are strategic partners helping Nebraska Medicine deploy our next-generation NSX based software-defined data center," said Brian Lancaster, Executive Director of Information Management at Nebraska Medicine. "Arkin real-time flow analytics makes it extremely easy to implement micro-segmentation security. The visibility and troubleshooting capabilities that Arkin provides to our networking and operations teams enables us to more quickly and confidently scale our NSX deployment."

Two of Arkin's founders, CEO Shiv Agarwal and VP, Engineering Rohit Toshniwal, are former VMware employees who worked on the NSX and SDDC products.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.


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