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Applications that run on a virtual network can be hardware- or software-based, Casado says. Certain customers may, for example, keep a proprietary specialized piece of network security hardware but expose other areas of the network to an SDN, he says. "Shifts [in technology] open up options for customers, they don't eradicate systems," he says, adding that server OEMs actually have sold more hardware after compute virtualization's mainstream adoption.
VMware's network virtualization strategy reflects the one it is taking on the cloud management platform. In addition to purchasing Nicira, VMware earlier this year bought DynamicOps, which provides a tool for integrating systems across hypervisors. A few months after the DynamicOps purchase, VMware announced new features within vSphere allowing it to provision workloads to the Amazon Web Services cloud and other cloud platforms. At the most recent OpenStack Summit conference in San Diego, VMware CTO Steve Herrod announced integration of OpenStack into the vSphere management console, allowing VMware customers to manage OpenStack private clouds.
Read more about lans & wans in Network World's LANs & WANs section.