Nicira has played a leading role in two key open source networking projects: Open vSwitch and OpenStack Quantum.
For those not familiar, Open vSwitch was the first open source virtual switch. While Nicira started and is the primary contributor to the project, it has a very broad developer base. For example, out of 44 committers over the last 6 months, 11 were Nicira employees.
Quantum is a virtual networking framework for OpenStack. Nicira has been a strong supporter of OpenStack since its announcement. However, our primary involvement has been to lead and contribute heavily to Quantum.
Given Nicira's deep involvement in open source, the announcement of VMware's plans to acquire Nicira has raised some concern as to the potential impact on Nicira's open source stance and contributions.
While the announcement blog posts (here for VMware, and here for Nicira), mentioned it, it's worth reiterating the point. VMware is committed to continuing to support and even accelerate these efforts. Of course, the specifics of what gets worked on varies with the demands and needs of the communities, however the basic trajectory of the projects will remain the same.
For Open vSwitch in addition to the standard feature, stability and performance work, we will support OpenFlow 1.3, we will continue to work on and support network virtualization tunneling protocols (including VXLAN which has been underway for quite some time), and we will continue to port Open vSwitch to new platforms.
For OpenStack and Quantum, we will certainly continue our leadership and contributions to Quantum, and we will continue to focus these efforts toward enabling network virtualization across all hypervisor platforms.
In addition to these two projects, We are committed to supporting heterogenous environments within the cloud. This includes supporting multiple cloud management systems such as CloudStack and OpenStack, and multiple hypervisors such as KVM and Xen, in addition to ESXi.