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VMware's partnership mixes NFV architecture and cloud orchestration

NFV architecture meets cloud orchestration in VMware's collaboration with GigaSpaces; Viptela and Versa Networks announce partnerships.

While company partnerships are certainly nothing new, the SDN world seems to be teeming with news of collaborations, partnerships and integrations. The latest VMware collaboration with GigaSpaces hopes to revamp NFV architecture and orchestration. Meanwhile, Viptela and Microsoft Azure partnered together to extend customer SD-WAN services into the cloud, and Versa Networks joined with hardware manufacturers to offer enterprises a white box alternative to proprietary equipment.

NFV architecture and cloud orchestration meet with VMware and GigaSpaces

VMware Inc. and GigaSpaces said they would work together to provide carriers with standards-based software that orchestrates how network functions virtualization applications are managed within an enterprise.

The NFV architecture effort will be built around GigaSpaces' open source Cloudify middleware, which will be integrated with VMware's vCloud management platform to allow enterprise customers to select how they deploy virtual network functions over hybrid cloud environments. The new software will reinforce vCloud with tools that support event correlation, event notification and response and policy management, among other features, GigaSpaces said.

"GigaSpaces and VMware see the value to customers in an open, standards-based framework for orchestration that gives customers control and agility as they move to the cloud with NFV," said GigaSpaces CEO Zeev Bikowsky, in a statement.

Cloudify is based on the two-year-old Topology and Orchestration Specification for Cloud Applications (TOSCA) standard, an OASIS language that describes processes used to create or modify web services.

Versa strikes pact with firms to open up SD-WAN hardware

Versa Networks said it is working with a group of manufacturers to certify devices that would eliminate the need for proprietary hardware now required by vendors to support SD-WAN in branch offices.

Advantech, Silicom Ltd. and Lanner Electronics are among the first companies to have their customer premises equipment approved for use with Versa's SD-WAN and security software.

Advantech said its Intel-based boxes support Versa's zero-touch provisioning, and range from Atom processor C2000 platforms to dual-socked Xeon processor E5 series appliances. Lanner, on the other hand, tailored its virtual CPE platform -- running Versa's SD-WAN software -- toward managed service providers.

SD-WAN is gaining traction as enterprises tap the technology to bolster their branch office connectivity. Other SD-WAN providers require companies to use their own equipment to receive their services; a white box option is seen as a way to reduce Capex and Opex costs and to make deployment options more flexible, Versa said.

Viptela extends SD-WAN to Microsoft Azure

Viptela said enterprise customers using its SD-WAN software can now extend their WANs into Microsoft Azure public and hybrid cloud environments. The integration means enterprises can access Azure cloud applications, such as Office 365, and run them as if they were actually administered in their own data centers.

Ramesh Prabagaran, Viptela's vice president of product management, said enterprise customers will benefit from the integration.

"Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and Skype for Business are pervasive application services used by our customer," he said in a statement. "The ability of the Viptela SD-WAN platform to integrate enterprise WANs with Azure public cloud resources, creates one ubiquitous, optimized and easy-to-manage connectivity fabric."

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