VMware and Arista: Putting More SD into the VMware SDDC
Strategic partnerships are arising among many vendors as technologies become more synergistic. VMware announced today that they are entering into a partnership with SDN switch manufacturer Arista Networks. Arista is becoming a widely known name as they continue to expand their partner ecosystem with a great line of SDN equipment powered by their EOS (Extensible Operating System).
EOS + NSX = Win
The primary goal of the strategic partnership with VMware and Arista is to drive the integration of VMware NSX, their flagship SDN platform. Through work leading up to the announcement today, VMware has been enhancing their NSX product portfolio which is seeing a rise in adoption and much interest coming from potential customers.
Using the native VMware network and security policy capability, customers are able to move towards the long sought after SDDC (Software Defined Data Center). The acronym is often overused and can sometimes be confused as to exactly what it means. SDDC is designed to be a methodology in combination with technology that supports it.
There is not a requirement to have the SDN (Software Defined Networking) platforms on entirely white-box hardware, but the true win for SDN platforms is the multi-vendor support and policy based management. Just as cloud is a methodology as much as it is a technology, the same holds true for SDN platforms.
Arista has made a splash with their IPO earlier this year, and with the announcement of their second quarter earnings this week we saw that they have upped their current customer base to 2700 and are seeing strong quarter over quarter earnings.
Selling Yachts to Rowers?
This is very exciting news, but it also highlights an interesting gap that is becoming obvious in the industry. We are seeing a lot of press around the SDN movement, and I absolutely recognize the importance of it and the change in that way that we provision and consume network services.
At the same time, there is a signal-to-noise ratio happening with plans versus active customers. At the enterprise level there are even still relatively low ratios of SDN deployments despite a fairly aggressive adoption by some major companies. Below the enterprise tier we see an even lower ratio of SDN deployment which is tied to the increased costs.
I continue to be an advocate for SDN and the features and policy management that comes with it. The announcement by VMware and Arista is one that is exciting to me and to the industry in general. I’m looking forward to seeing how this new partnership will play out over the coming months.