Wednesday, July 6, 2022

VMware: Networking Portfolio Review

A pioneer in virtual machines (VMs), VMware was spun off from Dell Technologies as an independent, publicly traded corporation on November 1, 2021.

VMware employs 34,000 people in 60 countries with a headquarters located in Palo Alto, California, and only the U.S. accounts for more than 10% of VMware’s $11.8 billion in revenue which grew 9% over the previous year.

VMware’s products tie together, for instance, applications, servers, and containers spread out over the cloud and local resources:

See more: The Networking Market

VMware Networking Portfolio

NSX

The NSX Data Center connects and protects applications throughout a virtual network. Its key features:

  • Automate provisioning of virtualized network devices
  • Manage network and security policies over multicloud, data center, and container infrastructure
  • Enable network segmentation and micro-segmentation for granular security
  • Simplify operations and optimize traffic flow

SD-WAN

VMWare’s software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) product creates virtualized networks to connect cloud servers, edge devices, and applications. Its key features:

  • Dynamically route traffic to the most available link and re-route troubled links automatically
  • Create networks independently of wires or distance
  • Enable seamless insertion and chaining of on-premise or cloud services
  • Deliver high performance for resource-intensive applications, such as voice and video

NSX Cloud

The NSX Cloud product networks hybrid and public cloud resources with a cloud-native tool. Its key features:

  • Centralize policy management for on-premises and public clouds
  • Provide a single interface for networking, security, and micro-segmentation
  • Flexibly manages both security and networking of workloads
  • Support Azure, Azure Government, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and AWS GovCloud (U.S.)

SASE Platform

VMWare’s secure access service edge (SASE) platform provides a secure and optimized way to network branch, home, and remote users. Its key features:

  • Combine SD-WAN and zero-trust network access functions
  • Use cloud-native strategies and scale to provide security for the network, applications, data, and users
  • Deliver reliable connections for remote and local connections
  • Simplify scaling global WANs

vRealize Network Insight

The vRealize Network Insight product improves visibility across cloud infrastructure. Its key features: 

  • Discover and track applications and associated VMs
  • Enable detailed visibility into network segments and rollouts for migration
  • Improve latency, performance and reliability with enhanced troubleshooting features

NSX Advanced Load Balancer

The NSX Advance Load Balancer provides an application to centralize visibility into loads across cloud resources. Its key features:

  • Monitor load balances across application firewalls, containers, and cloud VMs
  • Enable automation of application delivery
  • Provide analytics across on-premises data centers and public clouds (supports OpenStack, AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud)
  • Integrate fully with Kubernetes and OpenShift containers

NSX Distributed IDS/IPS

VMware’s NSX platform supports a distributed intrusion detection system (IDS) and intrusion protection system (IPS) solution to monitor traffic within a virtual network. Its key features:

  • Eliminate bottlenecks in physical networking equipment and dedicated appliances
  • Simplify network design and reduce network traffic
  • Reduce false-positives with more granular context for network activity
  • Scale inspection capacity by distributing the workload 

NSX Service-defined Firewall

The NSX Service-defined Firewall implements zero-trust policies for each workload. Its key features:

  • Automate policies for firewalls distributed to each workload in the data center
  • Eliminate the need for physical appliances that cause centralized bottlenecks
  • Replace perimeter wall defenses with distributed defenses
  • Catch internal, AKA: East-West, network attacks

Tanzu Service Mesh

VMware’s Tanzu Service Mesh pushes monitoring from the machine level down to the application level. Its key features:

  • Monitor connections and security for each application
  • Track application use across all resources (VMs, multiple clouds, etc.)
  • Extend zero-trust principles to the application level
  • Provide detailed observability for the application: end users, services, APIs and data

Antrea

VMware’s Antrea creates container-level networking services. Its key features:

  • Integrate with Kubernetes to manage Windows and Linux workloads
  • Network across on-premises and multicloud resources
  • Encrypt traffic and enforce network policies between containers
  • Improve load balancing performance, visibility, and operations

See more: The Network Mapping Market

VMware Partners

Over 30,000 partners support VMware products worldwide. VMware helps potential customers connect to partners via geographic filters or a marketplace of services that offers more options for filtering, such as type of solution, certification, etc.

VMware partners provide training, sales support, implementation assistance, and network design support. Principle partners include a wide variety of local partners as well as major IT equipment providers, such as:

  • Accenture 
  • Dell 
  • Fujitsu 
  • IBM
  • NTT 
  • SoftwareOne 
  • T-Systems 

Those seeking to partner with VMware can do so through two programs:

  • Partner Connect Program: For business partners working with VMware as a
  • Technology Alliance Partner Program: For those who want to develop software and hardware solutions to develop, test, integrate, and resell joint products with VMware

VMware Networking User Reviews

The reviews here focus on the flagship VMware NSX product and generally paint a positive picture. 

Corporate reviewers cite familiar software interfaces, strong scalability, easy rules management, and facilitated troubleshooting. Concerns note a complex migration, weaker support, high costs, and unexpected operational impacts.

G2: 4.4 out of 5

Gartner Peer Insights: 4.5 out of 5

IT Central Station: 3.9 out of 5

TrustRadius: 8.5 out of 10 

Industry Recognition of VMware Networking

VMware networking products earn many industry awards and accolades including:

  • Recognized as a leader in the Zero Trust Network Access Report, Q3, 2021.
  • Recognized as a leader for the fifth consecutive time in the 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant: Hyperconverged Infrastructure Software report
  • Ranked No. 1 in worldwide cloud system and service managed software by IDC

VMware in the Networking Market

On Gartner, customers note that 62% considered Cisco, 13% considered Juniper Networks, and 12% considered Arista Networks as competing products. However, the products reviewed for these competitors tend to be physical switches. This means many managers are weighing the use of traditional networking equipment versus the next-generation virtual equipment of VMware.

Most corporations serving the virtual networking industry do not break out their virtualized networking revenues, which makes it difficult to measure the market. However, it is possible to compare VMware against competitors indirectly. 

For example, in the telecom network automation software sub-market, VMware is shown to place third with a $379 million share of the estimated $4.362 billion market — below Nokia and Huawei but above Ericsson, Cisco, Ciena, and IBM/Redhat. Similarly, in the SD-WAN market, Cisco and VMware fight for market leadership ahead of competitors, such as Fortinet, Versa Networks, and Silver Peak.

In their annual report, VMware notes that several of their most valuable partners also compete directly with them in the virtual networking market. They note that Microsoft, Cisco, and IBM/RedHat offer competing products that are free or low cost with less features than VMware.

See more: Top 10 Enterprise Networking Companies

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