VMware unveils new Modern Network framework to accelerate adapting to a new normal
VMware has unveiled the Modern Network framework to enable businesses, and their IT and application development teams, to accelerate adapting to a new normal. To help customers realize a modern network of their own, VMware also announced further enhancements to its virtual networking products and services.
For businesses today, the ability to rapidly and cost-effectively respond to change is paramount. The infrastructure powering applications needs to deliver the efficiency of cloud operating models. Applications need to run on everything from private clouds to public clouds to edge computing, and the user to application experience needs to be great. The Modern Network framework addresses all of these needs.
The Virtual Cloud Network embodies the Modern Network framework. Many organizations have modernized their networks using VMware’s Virtual Cloud Network solution. These customers are embracing a cloud operating model, launching workloads with full automation, and eliminating weeks and months of wait time to update a firewall or load balancer. They are virtualizing everything from the data center to the branch to the end-user. The Virtual Cloud Network gives organizations an end-to-end solution to deploy applications and make sure they are running optimally and efficiently while enabling a great user experience.
“Our customers must efficiently manage the rapid shift to remote work, deliver applications faster and more securely, and reduce the cost and complexity of connecting and protecting the distributed enterprise,” said Rajiv Ramaswami, chief operating officer, products and cloud services, VMware. “The Modern Network framework enables our customers to do this. It turns the old way of thinking about networks as hardware appliances, switches, and routers in enterprise networks on its head and instead, takes a top-down view that puts users and applications first. This is the promise we are delivering on with the Virtual Cloud Network.”
The Modern Network framework takes a top-down view, creating a network that understands the needs of the application and programmatically managing infrastructure to meet those needs. The Modern Network framework is described by three key pillars.
Underneath this, the Multi-cloud Network Virtualization pillar provides a complete set of essential network services that are fully automated and defined in software. These services include all essential networking functions including security and load balancing. Virtualization and analytics span end to end, from the data center to the branch office and all the way to the end-user. Automation is applied not just to the orchestration of a workload, but also day two operations.
Despite the microservice-level abstractions of the first pillar and the scale-out software network infrastructure of the second pillar, at the bottom, packets still need to travel through wires and silicon. The Physical Network Infrastructure pillar is all about providing high capacity and low latency connectivity. It’s about keeping it simple and letting the software do its job.
In the Modern Network framework, security is intrinsic to every pillar. Taken together, the three pillars and the principles they layout are the foundation of public cloud architectures. VMware makes them available in every cloud.
New enhancements to the Virtual Cloud Network announced
Today, VMware announced the following enhancements to the Virtual Cloud Network portfolio:
Extending the Future Ready Workforce Solution with VMware SD-WAN Work from Home Subscriptions
The branch is now anywhere a user can connect to the company network to access the resources they need, including at home. VMware is extending the Future Ready Workforce Solution with new VMware SD-WAN work from home subscriptions. These new offerings will provide individual business users optimized network connectivity, more assured application performance, and better security at an affordable low price. Starting at price points lower than the cost of a mobile phone line, and with bandwidth ranging from 350Mbps to 1Gbps, the new subscriptions enable business users to get the best application performance while working from home. These new offerings are available today.
New Capabilities for Connecting, Protecting, and Automatically Scaling Modern Applications
Modern applications have thousands of components that need to be connected and protected. VMware Tanzu Service Mesh is an exciting new technology that controls the communication between each of the thousands of components, enforcing security policy and measuring performance and other critical functions, regardless of the underlying infrastructure. VMware is announcing a preview of a unique Attribute-Based Access Control policy model that will bring “who, what, where, when and how” simplicity into modern application policy creation.
Further, VMware is announcing NSX Advanced Load Balancer integration with Tanzu Service Mesh. This integration will enable application developers using Kubernetes to launch an application with all required load balancing capabilities without ever having to touch the infrastructure. API driven, this combined solution will deliver high availability and security for modern applications via load balancing and web application firewall capabilities. This integration is expected to be available in VMware’s Q1 FY22.
Infrastructure that Measures and Fixes Itself
Users and modern applications expect the network to “just work.” When infrastructure is virtualized, it can actually adapt to changes and heal itself. VMware SD-WAN technology takes multiple unreliable network connections and makes them behave like a single ultra-high-performance network. For a work from home user, this means video collaboration applications simply work all of the time. In the data center, VMware’s monitoring and management software now includes powerful new network modeling capabilities that act as a “pre-flight check” to verify an application is reachable across both physical and virtual infrastructure. Together, these new capabilities, which are available today, make troubleshooting faster and more efficient, and represent an important step towards self-healing networks.
Network Virtualization that Runs on SmartNICs for the Next-Generation of Servers
VMware announced Project Monterey, a collaboration with leading hardware providers to deliver network and server virtualization that runs on a SmartNIC. This novel architecture promises a leap forward in computing power and efficiency, as well as pervasive, distributed security. Virtualization and security functions are offloaded to the SmartNIC, freeing up CPU cycles to run applications and creating meaningful cost savings. VMware is announcing that the NSX Services-Defined Firewall running on a Monterey SmartNIC will be able run stateful Layer 4 firewall services at line rate. These same SmartNICs will also be able to run Layer 7 stateful firewall, as well as VMware’s curated IPS signatures. This capability will allow enterprise customers to attach a tuned, ultra-fast, ultra-smart firewall to their most valuable workloads – the database apps that hold their sensitive data.