Five years ago we started Nicira to transform networking. It was clear that networking’s traditional operational model was not suitable for cloud datacenters: so we set out to increase flexibility, reduce operational complexity, and provide full automation through software. Today we are proud to announce we will continue this journey with VMware, the global leader in virtualization and cloud infrastructure.
Just as VMware unbound the control of servers to the hardware infrastructure, at Nicira, we have decoupled network services and control from the networking hardware. The result is a multi-hypervisor network infrastructure that matches the operational model of server virtualization. Virtual networks can be created and configured dynamically, and they allow any workload to be placed or migrated anywhere.
Along the way, Nicira played a large role in bringing open networking to the cloud. We created OpenFlow and pioneered Software Defined Networking. We started and lead the Open vSwitch project (the first open source virtual switch). And we lead the Quantum project within OpenStack. As we move to the future with VMware we absolutely stand behind our commitment to contribute and even accelerate these projects going forward. The cloud is about openness. Openness is in our roots, and it will stay there.
From Software Defined Networks to Software Defined Datacenter
While it sounds like a straight marketing pitch, the ultimate goal of cloud computing really is to increase business velocity and efficiency. That is, businesses want the ability to onboard applications quickly -- with the least amount of overhead. IT should be an enabler, not a hurdle, delivering compute resources whenever they are needed, wherever they are needed.
While networking is a key component of this, a network does not run in isolation. Instead, they are deeply embedded within a rich tapestry of systems that make up the datacenter from servers to storage. And so in order to really unlock cloud agility, all components within the datacenter must share the same flexibility.
This is exactly what VMware has been doing over the past few years. Nicira’s SDN capabilities fit hand-in-glove with VMware’s server, storage and network offering in pursuit of the Software Defined Datacenter. Now all three components can act in tandem to deliver the cloud.
Software Defined Force Multipliers
Of course, VMware is also a pioneer in network virtualization, offering Industry-leading capabilities such as VMware's vSphere virtual switching, vCloud Director Networking, VXLAN, and vShield Network and Security services. As the two companies got together, we were delighted to discover that not only our vision for networking is aligned, but our technologies and roadmaps were complementary. Together we will be able to accelerate the delivery of a complete suite of software-defined networking products across all hypervisors and cloud stacks. I will write more on this topic later in this week.
And so we are thrilled to be joining the VMware family where we will work together to usher in the cloud by moving infrastructure to software.
Like VMware, Nicira has its roots in a Stanford research project. Bringing an idea out of the conceptual phase and into market takes a tremendous amount of effort, coordination, blind optimism, and luck. At Nicira, we were very fortunate to have had the partnership of many believers, whether investors, design partners, or earlier customers, who were absolutely critical in our success. To all of those who stood and marched with us, we give you our deepest thanks.