Looking Forward to VMworld 2015

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I will be visiting VMworld in San Francisco next week, along with many other ESG staff. Here are my thoughts on what we may see and what matters as enterprises build solutions from the VMware ecosystem.

VMworld has become a general conference for virtualization and cloud technology so it’s not solely focused on VMware. I recently got survey results on networking trends to provide data for some research reports I will be writing. It would be great to validate those trends with customers, exhibitors, and VMware itself. Early results from my research show that virtualization has the switch port growth rates (40% of respondents) but 25% replied that it has driven adoption or interest in SDN. Will this be NSX, or perhaps other products such as Cisco ACI or other SDN vendors that work with vSphere?

The research topics I’m investigating include network automation, SDN, campus & data center networking, WAN, and policy-driven networks. These topics are all related since creating an effective SDDC interoperating with a cloud infrastructure (whether it’s public, private, or hybrid cloud) will benefit from these capabilities. So in addition to my interest in VMware’s announcements, there will be discussions on how partner products integrate with VMware products.

We’ll see at the exhibition a wide range of data center networking firms ranging from A10, Avi Networks, Big Switch, Brocade, Cisco, Cumulus Networks, Dell, Extreme Networks, F5, HP, Huawei, KEMP, and QCT. In management and visibility, firms like Arkin, Gigamon, Infoblox, Ixia, ManageEngine, NetScout, and Solarwinds will be there. For adapters, familiar names such as Emulex (Avago) and QLogic will be exhibiting. WAN vendors like Citrix, CloudGenix, Riverbed, Silver Peak, Talari, and Viptela will be showing their wares.

There are so many exhibitors I may have missed a few, but I’m curious to see how each firm’s view of the SDDC and cloud computing fits in with VMware’s vision. Will it complement the architecture provided natively in VMware products via a plug-in, or offer a compatible, yet unique perspective?  Will the products from partners focus on specific use cases or market segments, or will they be a horizontal solution? End-users want to integrate a wide variety of solutions and vendors into their deployment, so a monolithic solution is often not acceptable for enterprises, but on the other hand, tight integration and simplicity are considered virtues by some.

From a networking perspective, here are some sessions and discussions that we're anticipating from VMware and its partners. VMware will have many sessions related to NSX, as well as security uses of NSX. Use cases for NSX, such as multi-site data centers in "Want Your Apps to Roam Freely? - NSX Solutions for Multi-Site Data Centers (session ID NET4855)”, and using VTEPs in "Bridging Virtual and Physical in NSX with OVSB Standard Based Hardware VTEP Integration (NET4901)" will be discussed.

Integrating network services helps fulfill the vision of moving towards an SDDC, such as in the talk given by F5: "Make the data center of tomorrow a reality today to orchestrate Advanced Networking Services (NET6320).” Another interesting one is “How to Deploy VMware NSX with Cisco Nexus and UCS (NET5082),” on how one uses UCS for compute, Nexus for physical networking.

I hope to see you there. 

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Topics: Networking