VMWare is pushing hard on the virtual datacenter concept this week at VMWorld, with the first release of their new SDN networking approach based on the Nicira acquisition. Greg Ferro has a good take (hat tip to @beaker/Hoff for the link):

VMware NSX is a solution for programmable and dynamic networking service that interoperates with VMware vCloud director, OpenStack or Hyper-V–this is where the real value is derived. In the near future, servers will no longer be “operating systems” but “application containers.” Instead of installing an application onto a operating system, the application will part of a service template that will do most or all of these:

Three things:

  • I don’t think it is a game changer itself, but it is a (sort of new) entry by a major player into an area of growing interest. It will certainly create a lot more dialogue.
  • Oh crap, now I need to brush up on networking again.
  • And you networking types need to brush up on programming and APIs.

SDN coupled with the cloud can enable seriously cool security capabilities. Like a couple API calls to identify every server on every network segment, every path to said servers, and all the firewall rules around them. In real time.