To some, the term "network virtualization" might seem like the latest version of "cloud" – a technology that can do it all, evoked by vendors to allow them to sell more products or expand market share. But listening to Martin Casado, CTO of networking at VMware, explain the use cases for network virtualization at Interop -- and seeing the reaction of the audience -- the possibilities seem very real.
VMware is no slouch when it comes to innovative technology, but it owes much of its success in the networking arena to Casado, the man who authored the OpenFlow protocol and founded Nicira, which VMware acquired and used as the basis for its NSX platform.
Casado explained that the industry is getting hung up on the wrong points when it comes to network virtualization: "We in the community have been a little bit confused with this whole discussion around SDN and missed some very important trends." He said he was happy to see so many different products coming to market but indicated that these are just scraping the surface of what could be accomplished.
He stressed that enterprises should be emulating mega data centers, which have modified their operations to do things like load balancing and security as applications, rather than directly in the network. In these data centers, the physical network provides only basic services, such as point-to-point connectivity, packet replication, priority-based QoS, and unified latency. "Data centers that are built this way are by far the most scalable and successful data centers on the planet, full stop," Casado emphasized. "In those data centers, the network does almost nothing."
Read the rest of the article on Network Computing.