It’s no secret that VMware is bullish on NSX. Kurt Marko does a good job making the case the this isn’t just an important product to the company, but the key to their future growth. If you’re not familiar with NSX, I suggest you check out their deep dive on it at Networking Field Day as a level set. Essentially it tries to offer the same kind of uniform abstraction layer for networking in a multi-cloud environment as traditional virtualization brought to the data center. It’s a tall order, but Kurt makes a good case.
One of the primary challenges I think VMware will encounter with NSX is scope. NSX itself was already incredible ambitious, and then VMware rolled in VeloCloud’s SD-WAN solution to the stack. The issue with NSX is that it’s hard to wrap your head around in totality. That’s why VMware is on an education blitz with it. Not only does it help sell NSX, it helps round out an understanding of just how ambitious it solution it purports to be.
Kurt is right to point out that adding in VeloCloud SD-WAN is well worth it for VMware, in that it lets them get a lot of easy adoption wins with enterprises. It’s nice to see VMware not putting all their eggs in their very profitable server virtualization basket. NSX might not become as much of a standard as VMware’s ESXi and vCenter. It doesn’t have to be. Server virtualization will have an immensely long tail in IT, even if it faces gradual decline some time in the future. But having a solution like NSX that’s poised for growth means VMware has their eye on the long term.
Kurt Marko comments:
I agree with Gelsinger’s contention that virtual networking is a growth engine for VMware that could evolve into its largest product segment. My hesitance stems from the fact that the timespan for foundational changes in network design and technology is measured in decades, not years. Consequently, to borrow a Rumsfeldian phrase, there are too many known and unknown unknowns that could derail VMware’s plans.