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VMware NSX Leader On Extending Into Azure, AWS And Kubernetes

Tom Gillis, senior vice president and general manager of VMware's networking and security business, talks to CRN about his NSX strategy in public clouds and Kubernetes.

Network security guru Tom Gillis became VMware's NSX leader in May with plans to drive VMware's new NSX portfolio into public clouds and Kubernetes.

At VMworld 2018, the vendor unveiled the general availability of NSX running in native Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) and Microsoft Azure environments.

"We have a vision called NSX Everywhere, so moving beyond just a traditional VMware data center out into public clouds," said Gillis, senior vice president and general manager of VMware's networking and security business unit, in an interview with CRN. "Customers can have one set of policies, one network space that can go from their data center out to public clouds and reach all the way back to legacy workloads."

[Related: VMware Global Channel Chief On Overhauling 'Our Entire Partner Program']

The longtime IT veteran was general manager and vice president of Cisco's Security Technology Group from 2007 to 2011. Gillis then became CEO and co-founder of cloud computing specialist Bracket Computing, which was later acquired by VMware.

Gillis said pushing various NSX-based network and security solutions into the public cloud must be led by the channel.

"We need our channel partners to help operationalize this with customers. So there's very few customers that aren't thinking about, 'How do you get workloads on the public cloud and tie them back together with workloads in the private cloud?' VMware is uniquely suited to do that," said Gillis. "We've had a lot of strong response from our channel partners on this NSX Everywhere vision, specifically around public cloud."

According to IT research firm Forrester, 89 percent of enterprises today use at least two clouds and 74 percent are using at least three or more public clouds. With NSX, VMware enables software-based virtual networks, allowing customers to gain network visibility and manage security policies from a single place for all applications across multi-cloud environments, said Gillis.

Gillis said VMware's NSX-based Virtual Cloud Network is a huge movement for the Palo Alto, Calif.-based vendor with new technology and capabilities continuously being added, such as NSX integration with every major Kubernetes offering.

"We work with Red Hat. We work with Pivotal. We work with native Kubernetes deployments and we provide that one policy administration console that can work on VMs and containers of private cloud, public clouds, even all the way back to legacy workloads," said Gillis. "It's a very compelling product offer and it all shipping now."

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