The future of OpenStack looks bright, and with the all the software-defined data center (SDDC) features contained in the recent release of “Grizzly” they are now ready to compete toe-to-toe with heavyweights like VMware, Nutanix, Dell, and HP. Whether they can start unseating VMware products in the enterprise remains to be seen, though. Despite the immediate SDDC advantage of OpenStack, companies and technologies like that of Nicira and Virsto, both acquired by VMware, are not to be ignored.
VMware has added some significant meat to the bones of its Software Defined Data Center Strategy with the announcement of the VMware NSX Network Virtualization Platform. NSX represents the combination of the previous VMware network virtualization technology (VXLAN) with the technology that came from the acquisition of Nicira.
Brocade has stated they will buy Vyatta for an all cash deal. This is good news for Vyatta and perhaps a way for Brocade to partake of software that could rival VMware’s purchase of Nicira when Vyatta’s own SDN features are married with Brocade Ether Fabric technology. Brocade has been in the software business for a while now, but only with respect to their own hardware. With Vyatta, they will shortly own a building block to allow Ether Fabric to extend into the virtual and cloud environments. It would be short sighted to say this is just an SDN play, this purchase shows there is quite a bit of benefit to Brocade.
While not particularly new news, the next version of the Cisco Nexus 1000v will be free, unless you want the security features. This is an interesting shift from Cisco with respect to VMware vCloud Director, the Nicira purchase, furthering UCS, and Cisco within non-UCS data centers. However, given other announcements, with respect to OpenStack, perhaps this is more a play to level the playing field between cloud architectures? But what I find most interesting, is that the changes to the Nexus 1000v also align with the changes we see in the vCloud Suites from VMware.
Last week’s inaugural board meeting of the new OpenStack Foundation signaled a change in the organization as Rackspace the driving force behind OpenStack handed control to the newly formed board. Allen Clark director of SUSE was appointed chairman, with Lew Tucker Cisco’s VP and CTO of cloud joining the board as Vice Chairman. Members of the OpenStack community who had voiced concerns that OpenStack’s founder Rackspace’s had too much control over the project should be please by these appointments which are seen as key to establishing OpenStack’s bona fides.
The start of VMworld 2012 and the biggest Virtualization conference of the year is less than two weeks away and the surge of marketing emails have started to arrive about all the new and exciting offerings that the venders and 3rd party companies are planning on showing off at VMworld. This is one of the things I enjoy the most about attending these conferences, seeing what’s new and to see the direction of the trends in virtualization. At last year’s show, VMworld 2011 in Las Vegas, the trend that I saw was the advancements in storage and storage virtualization. My prediction at the end of VMworld 2011 was that 2012 would be the year for the network virtualization and or software defined networking.
VMware purchased Nicira, backed the Openflow Community, and is now touting software defined data centers (SDDC). But what is a software defined datacenter? Is it just virtualization or cloud with a software defined network? Or is it something more than that? Given heavy automation and scripting of most clouds, do we not already have SDDC? If not where are we going with this concept? What does SDN add to the mix?