VMware unveiled Virtual Cloud Network innovations that will help customers create a modern network that better supports current and future business initiatives.
With advancements across the VMware networking and security portfolio, customers will be able to more effectively manage the rapid shift to remote work, deliver traditional and modern applications faster and more securely, and reduce the cost and complexity of connecting and protecting the distributed enterprise.
Businesses today, and the IT and application development teams supporting them, are racing to adapt to a new normal. Application architectures are more modern and cloud native; on premises data centers are extending to include multi-cloud and edge compute environments; and the work environment is no longer a single campus or branch, but rather anywhere an employee can connect to the Internet. This new reality introduces complexity that the network of the past 20 years was not designed to address.
“Customers tell us they want the same level of automation they have in the public cloud across their entire environment. But while they can automate some parts of their network, other parts such as firewalls and load balancers still require manual tickets for provisioning. That’s why partial automation is an oxymoron; it’s a half-built bridge that does nothing to get customers to where they want to be,” said Rajiv Ramaswami, chief operating officer, products and cloud services, VMware.
“The VMware Virtual Cloud Network delivers the automation and economics of the public cloud across every element of the network and spanning the entire distributed enterprise at a time when agility and cost matter more than ever.”
VMware is delivering a range of solutions and services to help customers survive and thrive in the most turbulent market in generations. VMware’s cloud, app modernization, networking, security and digital workspace platforms form a flexible, consistent digital foundation on which to build, run, manage, connect and protect applications, anywhere.
VMware will deliver new Virtual Cloud Network innovations across three areas – automation that enables the public cloud experience; modern application connectivity and security services; and solutions that re-imagine what’s possible in network security.
Network automation that delivers a public cloud experience
VMware will add more cloud automation and scale, uptime and resiliency, ML-based predictive analytics, and intelligence to the virtual cloud network. VMware NSX-T 3.1 will support even larger-scale global deployments and disaster recovery use cases and automated deployment workflows.
VMware will double the scale of NSX Federation, add new API-driven advanced routing and multicast capabilities, and offer Terraform Provider support. VMware vRealize Network Insight 6.0 will bring new assurance and verification capabilities as well as expanded VMware SD-WAN visibility.
These updates will enable better planning for virtual and physical networks, improved network uptime and resiliency, faster troubleshooting, and proactive identification of potential network problems based on intent, and more effectiveness in achieving service level agreements.
VMware Edge Network Intelligence is a new AIOps solution based on technology acquired from Nyansa. It will provide automated and actionable intelligence that helps assure users and IoT devices on campus, in branches, or in the home get the network performance they need to support applications.
Connecting and protecting modern apps
Organizations looking to improve productivity, agility, and customer experience are embracing a container-based, micro-services architecture and standardizing on Kubernetes for container management.
The connectivity and security needed to address microservices requirements while at the same time connecting Kubernetes clusters to the infrastructure introduces the need for a rich multilayer networking stack.
VMware is extending the Virtual Cloud Network to connect and protect these environments through VMware Tanzu Service Mesh powered by NSX and support for Project Antrea, an open source that enables Kubernetes networking and security wherever Kubernetes runs including on-premise vSphere, public clouds as well as edge.
Tanzu Service Mesh includes new capabilities focused on improving application continuity, resiliency, and security. The new VMware Container Networking with Antrea is a commercial offering consisting of signed images and binaries and full support for Project Antrea.
VMware Container Networking with Antrea will be included in VMware NSX-T and vSphere 7 with Tanzu. Applications running on Kubernetes clusters using Antrea as the Container Networking Interface (CNI) can be discovered, connected, and better protected by Tanzu Service Mesh.
Re-imagining network security
VMware will deliver unmatched levels of firewall performance and programmable intelligence to the Virtual Cloud Network by enabling VMware NSX to run on leading SmartNICs. This includes advanced security for bare metal and highly sensitive workloads such as databases which are hard to protect today.
Additionally, it enables “air gapping” of infrastructure, separating applications and hypervisors from the security controls on the SmartNIC. VMware is also announcing VMware NSX Advanced Threat Prevention, which combines NSX Distributed IDS/IPS with advanced malware detection (sandboxing) and AI-powered network traffic analysis (NTA) acquired from Lastline, Inc.
These NTA capabilities use unsupervised and supervised ML machine learning models to more accurately identify threats and minimize false positives compared to other network traffic analysis tools.
The solution delivers an industry-first ability to apply virtual patches at every workload, something traditionally only implemented at the perimeter, enabling more effective response to sophisticated threats before they disrupt business.
Bharti Airtel is India’s second-largest mobile network operator and the third largest on the planet. Manish Singh, general manager, Cloud Operations for Bharti Airtel, said, “Our hardware-defined network architecture posed significant challenges to our aspirations to lead India’s digitized, mobile future.
“It could take weeks or months to complete global changes to switches, routers, firewalls or other network elements which could impact new service delivery or current performance.
“By moving to an automated and more secure VMware Virtual Cloud Network built on NSX, we have improved our agility by orders of magnitude, redefined our developer experience, and made security an intrinsic part of our infrastructure.”
The University of Notre Dame is a private research university and the nation’s leading Catholic institution of higher learning. Mike Atkins, infrastructure architect at Notre Dame, said, “We are committed to making sure that our students get the highest quality, technology-enabled education. Ubiquitous access to Wi-Fi across campus plays a major part in our technology strategy, as an enabler to education and a differentiator to our University.
“As a result of the pandemic, we have seen a significant increase in our Wi-Fi traffic as we conduct more on-campus remote instruction. This will place additional importance on troubleshooting and proactive notifications. VMware Edge Network Intelligence makes it faster and easier to identify and fix any network problems.
“Edge Network Intelligence also helps us justify spending by showing quantitative data that proves that when we spend money on upgrades, we are seeing actual improvements.”