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VMware-VeloCloud merger raises enterprise stakes

Bloggers explore the VMware-VeloCloud acquisition, a possible new fragmentation of the enterprise IT market and the best approach to building a network segmentation strategy.

Dan Conde, an analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group Inc. in Milford, Mass., said VMware's intention to acquire VeloCloud is part of a bid to expand NSX everywhere.

The VMware-VeloCloud products are both based on an overlay network, with increased flexibility to separate the logical network from underlying hardware. Conde suggested there may be a transition period in which VMware VeloCloud Edge devices continue to be offered. However, VMware's network functions virtualization infrastructure platform vision seems to include an x86 network device that can run virtual network functions through a VMware edge hypervisor.

Conde identified other SD-WAN players, such as Aerohive, Barracuda, CloudGenix and Cradlepoint, acknowledging the way the market will evolve remains to be seen.

"Ultimately, the vision of [a VMware-VeloCloud acquisition] is to create a software-defined network that spans the enterprise, and VeloCloud brings them closer to the vision. VMware has the technical assets to create an SD-WAN solution on its own, but this acquisition is a quicker way with gained access to VeloCloud's technology and customers," Conde said.

Dig deeper into Conde's thoughts on VMware and VeloCloud.

The best way to segment your network

Andrew Lerner, an analyst with Gartner, explored the best approach to building a network segmentation strategy. As many organizations move to segment enterprise networks, Lerner said many teams over- or under-segment network environments.

According to Gartner, the key goals of a network segmentation strategy should focus on data criticality, sensitivity and location. In virtualized environments, Lerner said enterprises can change the technology, but never compromise on fundamental security principles.

Gartner research indicated that network segmentation decisions are usually based on internal business considerations instead of technology awareness. IT teams should avoid outsourcing network segmentation strategy and design.

"Not all segmentation mechanisms are equal in terms of trust. Mismatches of trust in segmentation result in too little risk, causing unnecessary expense and latency, or too much risk, exposing the enterprise," Lerner said.

Explore more of Lerner's thoughts on network segmentation strategy.

The three paths of enterprise IT

Ivan Pepelnjak, blogging in ipSpace, traded ideas with Russ White about the differences between enterprises and service providers. While pointing out that he believes defining the split between the two is "useless," White goes on to paint the difference as a divide between organizations that make money directly off the network, such as providers, and ones that grudgingly pay for networks, like enterprises.

"If you think your network is an asset to your company, then you're more likely to build your own, rather than dealing with vendors, either cloudy or traditional," White said. "If you think your network is a cost, then you're likely to pay just about any price to keep from having to think about it."

Citing White, Pepelnjak said enterprise IT is poised to fragment into three main categories. Organizations that can't afford on-premises storage and fabrics will move as much as possible to the public cloud, while others that wish to retain on-premises infrastructure will use hyper-converged technologies or tools such as Microsoft Azure Stack. The third category, meanwhile, will be those large enough to invest in networking software, thus controlling their own destiny.

Read more of Pepelnjak's discussion on the future of enterprise IT.

Next Steps

Network segmentation and network security

Things public cloud providers never tell customers

Innovation and acquisition drives VMware growth

Dig Deeper on IP Networking

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