VMware to create new network functions virtualization team
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February 11, 2015
Earlier this morning, VMware said it will create a new team dedicated to what it calls network
functions virtualization (NFV). The news was expected for some time by senior people in the IT community.
News of this initiative actually slipped in a statement about a pair of promotions at VMware, however.
The newly-titled workers are Sanjay Mirchandani, now corporate senior vice president in addition to
his role as leader of VMware's Asia-Pacific and Japan, where he's doing rather well as the region was
singled out for praise in VMware's most recent earnings call.
Also promoted as corporate senior vice president is Shekar Ayyar, a person VMware credits as “responsible
for aligning strategy and long-term planning across VMware businesses as well as managing the company's mergers
Ayyar also drives the company's acquisitions, including those of Nicira and Airwatch.
Ayyar will now lead the development of a Network Functions Virtualization vertical market team
within VMware, which is engaging with CTOs and CIOs to deliver a program designed to help the telecommunications
industry accelerate innovation and launch new services faster.
For many, it's no surprise to see that VMware wants to take a shot at NFV, which is most often expressed
without VMware's plurals and typically used by carriers to offer network functions as a service.
That can mean firewalls for business or dumbing down set-top boxes so that their GUIs are delivered as
a virtual machine, almost VDI-style.
But when NFV is put to work, it obviously won't escape VMware's attention that it is getting a
lot of mentions in networking circles and therefore represents a chance to get ESX and ESXi running
inside carriers' data centres.
VMware looks like it's ready to handle this job, thanks to the instant clones feature added to
vSphere 6 that spawns VMs at a rate of 64 in six seconds.
That sounds like enough to help carriers serve customers, which is exactly what the company
wishes to do, and has said so repeateadly over the past four to five months.
Ayyar's track record means that his appointment to lead this team looks to be a sign that VMware
wants to make a serious move into the NFV market.
And if it does, it'll be heading into battle with Cisco again. But when you think about it, isn't that competition
at its best?
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