Every time we as an industry come up with a wonderful innovation, we tend to deploy that innovation before we have the ability to manage it in production. This occurred with the first round of data center virtualization—and resulted in an entirely new category of operations management solutions. But these new solutions did not arrive until several years after CPU and memory virtualization had become widely adopted. Gigamon and VMware seem determined to break this cycle with their joint announcement addressing the question of NSX visibility.
The NSX Visibility Problem
Like all virtualized networking solutions, VMware NSX creates an overlay network that is independent of the underlying physical network. Packets are encapsulated in this overlay network in a manner that makes the packets and their meaning invisible to tools that just monitor packets at the physical layer. This is depicted in the diagram below:
The Gigamon and VMware NSX Visibility Announcement
Today, Gigamon and VMware jointly announced that the two companies have worked together to allow the GigaVUE-VM product to have complete visibility into NSX encapsulated packets and overlay networks. This is depicted in the diagram below:
Implications of the GigaVUE-VM NSX Visibility
This announcement has broad implications both for the adoption of NSX and for the future prospects of the GigaVUE-VM solution. VMware deserves credit for stepping up to the plate and addressing a management problem before it impacts customers and slows down the adoption of NSX. By partnering with Gigamon, which itself partners with multiple management vendors in the application performance, network performance, and security businesses, VMware is taking one shot that will address multiple problems and use cases.
VMware and Gigamon have partnered to address crucial questions in NSX visibility involving visibility into both encapsulated packets and overlay networks. This will address many NSX issues in the application performance, network management, and security areas.