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Xsigo's Toor said the technology is a part of the move toward SDN. "Ideally, you have SDN inside and outside the data center," he said. "To make it work, you need a Layer 2 network, which is defined by software, not hardware. That level of flexibility and the ability to configure the network is what we do."
This is despite the fact that Xsigo's technology has yet to support OpenFlow, the open networking technology that handles the movement of data packets instead of leaving that movement up to software in the switches and routers.
"We don't yet support OpenFlow," he said. "Even if we did, customers wouldn't be using it. We don't have a single customer running OpenFlow, except a few testing it. We have our API set up with one set of commands, but it could be set up to work with OpenFlow when needed."
Despite the technological differences, Xsigo and Nicira pave the way for simplifying networks while adding performance, making it potentially easier for customers to build converged and cloud infrastructures.
With Nicira, VMware will be able to let customers configure virtual networks similar to how it currently enables the configuration of virtual servers. Combined with its own virtual storage capabilities and the virtual storage technology of many of its storage vendor partners, VMware expects customers will be able to build data centers based entirely on software running on powerful physical servers.
For Oracle, whose strategy has been to closely tie its industry-leading software with hardware from its acquisition of Sun Microsystems into integrated appliances, Xsigo is an opportunity to add a networking layer.
Oracle already has server and storage technology from Sun, its own middleware and applications, and its own Oracle VM virtualization technology. It has optimized those technologies to work with each other and integrated them to develop what it calls pre-engineered systems, including the Oracle Exadata Database Machine, Oracle Big Data Appliance, and Oracle Exalytics In-Memory Machine reporting and analysis server.
Oracle plans to extend that integration to its new Xsigo technology.
NEXT: Oracle's Plans For Xsigo