NSX needs some love from Network Managers

wpid-IMAG0090.jpgNSX needs more than the ability to be innovative in managing networks and “just” adding value similar to how x86 virtualization has done for the server team.  One of the key moments of VMworld was when the VMware COO called VMWorld the largest gathering of Network Administrators.  There are more virtual ports than physical and virtualization administrators administer most of those virtual ports.  However, the physical network and the therefore the keys to the network and the destiny of SDN lay in the hands of the network team.

It has been my experience that the network manager buys the next box that their network hardware vendor recommends.  I’ve rarely seen wholesale shifts from one hardware provider to another in the enterprise space.  Networks are complex and when they are up and running there is very little desire to want to change something that isn’t perceived to be broken.

When you talk to server administrators they perceive the network as broken.  It doesn’t fit the service model that they want to achieve.  When you talk to network managers there’s really nothing wrong with the network.  It gets packets from Point A to Point B reliably and within the latency tolerance.  So, why introduce a whole new management and service delivery to a complex system such as the network because your customer (server admins) say that the model is broken?

I believe it’s up to VMware and their partners to convince the Network Managers that the network is broken and the next “box” they need is not a box at all but a new service model.  I think this is a hard sell.  But, we’ll see as VMware does have a substantial partner list with NSX.  Cisco is going the route of leveraging their relationship with the network decision maker directly.  The future of the technology my weigh on who’s the better salesman.

Published by Keith Townsend

Now I'm @CTOAdvisor

2 thoughts on “NSX needs some love from Network Managers

  1. Keith – “Broken” is the wrong word here – I’d suggest the focus ought to be on how to more quickly and efficiently deploy network services for applications. “Slow” != “Broken”. What’s interesting to me is that VMware classifies NSX as “networking” technology, but they aren’t focused on trying to make the group with the most networking skills educated and supportive of a new set of “networking” capabilities. This would have been like VPN vendors bypassing the network team and only allowing security teams into their sales calls. Granted the server, network and security teams might be classified into different buying centers, but at the end of the day they should all be focused on the same sets of challenges (just from slightly different perspectives).

    1. Thank Brian. I’m interested in discussing with someone that’s engaged the NSX sales team. NSX is unlike any of VMware’s existing products. This is the case even when interacting with the account team. I’ve heard that NSX has its own sales team separate from the rest of the organization.

      I’m starting to think that they are cognizant of this perception and if they are really just interacting with the network team directly. I don’t believe it’s insignificant that you can’t just and download NSX as a demo without talking with someone from sales.

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