VMworld: 10 Networking And UC Moves To Watch

Virtually Networked

VMworld is the "it" show for all things virtualization, data center management and storage, but with the role of virtualization in networking becoming more important than ever, networking companies -- from data switching powerhouses to VoIP and UC players -- are also making their presences felt at the conference.

Here are 10 networking-centric VMworld announcements we found particularly intriguing.

Avaya Collaboration Pods

Is Avaya making a run at VCE and other converged infrastructure stacks that combine networking, storage and virtualization technologies? Sure seems like it, considering it followed after the company's announcement of Avaya Collaboration Pods, the frameworks that bring together storage arrays from EMC, VMware's vCenter and View platforms, combined with the networking, management, applications and integration capabilities from Avaya. A reference architecture in the style of FlexPod or VSPEX, each Avaya Pod includes Avaya's Virtual Services Platform 7000, its top-of-rack Ethernet switching platform.

Brocade ADX Series

Brocade at VMworld unveiled its ADX Series application delivery switches, intended for the delivery of Virtual eXtensible Local Area Network, or VXLAN, services for cloud networks that leverage VMware technology. How it works is that customers use the Brocade ADX switches to connect various VXLAN environments to both the Internet as well as VXLAN-enabled applications and non-VXLAN networks, with the idea being that the ADX can be deployed as a gateway for customers that want to maximize the use of their current infrastructure.

Cisco Nexus 1000V

VMware's recent $1.2 billion acquisition of SDN startup Nicira is one of many reasons to think the long-held strategic alliance between Cisco and EMC, which majority-owns VMware, is on the rocks. But, Cisco and VMware (and EMC for that matter) were getting plenty cozy at VMworld, and earlier this week they confirmed a new investment in their partnership in order to more deeply tie VMware tools to Cisco's data center networking and fabric computing platforms.

Among the announcements: Cisco and VMware are making "significant" joint engineering investments to drive integration. VMware will integrate Cisco's Nexus 1000V switchers with its new vCloud Suite 5.1, and Cisco will resell vCloud Suite 5.1, and the companies will expand their go-to-market strategies around Cisco UCS, Cisco VXI and VMware View, among other technologies.

F5 Networks BIG-IP

Application delivery networking (ADN) dynamo F5 Networks will integrate its BIG-IP ADN products with VMware's new VMware Ready program for integrating services and providing better support to software-defined data center environments. F5 is one of VMware's launch partners for Ready, and the integration is expected to bring in all of BIG-IP's major functions -- including load balancing, SSL offloading, web acceleration and web application firewall -- for use with VMware vCloud and vSphere infrastructure.

HP Converged Cloud

HP at VMworld confirmed that it will integrate VMware vCloud Suite 5.1 with HP's own Converged Cloud, a bundle of cloud infrastructure and cloud management products and services intended to be the foundation for private, hybrid and public cloud builds. According to HP, Converged Cloud services, when combined with vCloud Suite 5.1, will be able to double virtual-machine density and reduce network complexity.

Juniper vGW Virtual Gateway

Juniper used VMworld to announce updates to its vGW Virtual Gateway, including added security for IPv4 and IPv6 protocols, and new cloud API and SDK for automating how customers configure security policy and manage security in virtual environments. One of the key messages from Juniper here is scale: Service providers can scale their VM hosting services while automating how they secure those services. Enterprises can scale VMs while keeping the means by which they secure them cost effective.

Mitel UCA For Zimbra

Mitel has placed a big bet with VMware as a strategic partner, and as such, the companies have continued to integrate various products and capabilities that Mitel is pitching to its customer base as flexible, more easily managed virtualized UC and CC solutions. One of the most recent moves is full integration of Mitel's Unified Communicator Advanced (UCA) client software with VMware's Zimbra email, calendaring and collaboration platform. The Zimbra integration is intended for both public and private cloud deployments, and when in use with Mitel, Zimbra version 8 features a different user interface with embedded Mitel UC tools.

Riverbed Granite

WAN optimization kingpin Riverbed confirmed several major updates while at VMworld, including that its virtual ADC product, Stingray Traffic Manager, the software, is now integrated with VMware vFabric Application Director. Riverbed and VMware are also planning jointly developed SDN configurations through which Riverbed will optimize VMware-based SDN and virtual data center platforms using its Cascade products to provide VXLAN support and overall network performance management. And, the company will then use its Steelhead product for better management of WAN optimization-as-a-service in environments using VMware vCloud Director.

Finally, Riverbed and VMware are using VMworld to demonstrate remote and branch office deployments of VDI platform VMware View -- a showcase for Riverbed's newer Granite edge virtual server infrastructure offering.

Silver Peak VXOA

As a fast-growing alternative vendor in the WAN optimization space, Silver Peak is gaining momentum for its virtual appliances and has integrated more tightly with VMware by making its Virtual Acceleration Open Architecture (VXOA) software available to VMware vCenter as a plug-in. What that means is that administrators using VMware environments can automatically provision and easily manage workloads using Silver Peak software but from within the VMware platform they're already used to.

Vidyo VidyoConferencing

Fast rising videoconferencing upstart Vidyo forged a three-way alliance with VMware and Mitel to deliver video and unified communications capabilities more seamlessly to virtualized desktops. Specifically, Mitel's virtualized Unified Communicator Advanced software and VidyoConferencing are now accessible through VMware View to give users a full range of collaboration and conferencing applications over VDI.