The networking business just got a wake-up call from server virtualizer VMware in the guise of a $1.26bn acquisition of virty networker Nicira. VMware's CTO Steve Herrod has been talking up the concept of the "software-defined data center" for the past couple of months, and the server virtualization juggernaut and cloud wannabe …
Falling Asleep At The Network Switch.
With everybody else falling asleep at the network switch, VMware and Nicira have cornered the virtual server market and thus became indispensable to cloud-based services.
But up to now these two had at least each other to compete with. This has assured both strong development in virtual controllers and servers as well as fair pricing.
Now, however, the two are about to become one and the same entity. With everybody else lagging far behind, they will be able to not only monopolize the virtual server market, but also annihilate the old hardware-based switches from Cisco and company.
"So what," you say. "Survival of the fittest."
Not so fast.
With the Cisco hardware obsolescence will come a dependency on virtual controllers and servers. This is not bad in itself since these streamline the setting up and maintenance of networks.
But it can be bad if the virtual controllers and servers take hold at the exclusion of everything else.
Aside from the inherent monopoly in this, we will thus also have a dependency on a networking platform -- which though efficient, economical, and ingenious -- has nonetheless not been around long enough to warrant a complete reliance on it.
A go-slow approach, therefore, might be in order and the Justice Department perhaps ought to look at all the ramifications before it gives its blessing to VMware to buy Nicira.
Besides, the two companies have already worked out the necessary protocol to coexist in networks -- without being the same entity.
Staying that way might be better for all of us for the time being.
Justice & Darwin
Cisco is free to continue to develop their N1kV. Same goes for Microsoft and their vswitch. And for that matter Cisco N1KV on HyperV. Xen/KVM whatever same. There is no monopoly here.
Go-slow approach, yes let's hold back innovation. Let's keep producing phy gear that's not needed, that can't adapt quick enough. Brilliant. And oh M$/Cisco hasn't adapted quick enough so DOJ should decide who gets to buy Nicira.
It's not survival of the fittest, it's survival of those that can adapt the fastest to the changing/evolving environment.
it is the brain that being acquired
without the three co-founders, Nicira is nothing... so the big question is how to ensure they stay after acquisition? VMware weren't able to keep their own co-founders after being controlled by EMC.