will-network-virtualization-be-the-saving-grace-of-vmware

Things haven’t been easy around VMware recently, not for investors or employees or customers wondering what the future holds. While some product development is halted or stunted pending new administration (Workstation and Fusion, for example), other products are also up for debate. At the recent VMworld event, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger spoke about some of the changes, concerns, and where VMware is heading for the future.

NSX and the Dream of the Software Defined Data Center

Network Virtualization

Enterprises are looking for more secure connections between their data centers and the cloud. NSX could be just that solution, providing the high level of encryption and performance to get the job done right.

According to Gelsinger, many of the staple products that have driven the growth and prosperity of VMware in the past have now reached maturity. These products aren’t on the cutting board, but neither are they going to be driving forces for revenue streams in the future. VMware has noticeably downgraded investments in their public cloud product, vCloudAir, which will receive less attention and focus moving forward. According to Gelsinger, VMware will refocus on doing what only their company can do that other companies can’t or aren’t doing.

For example, look at NSX and how it plays into VMware’s vision for a Software Defined Data Center. Last year, VMware demonstrated how this network virtualization platform can serve as a connection between the customer’s onsite data center and vCloudAir. This coming year, NSX will be expanded to be useful as a connection between the customer’s sites and the public cloud, such as Microsoft Azure’s cloud or Amazon Web Services.

VMware Believes NSX Can Do More and Do It Better Than Current Solutions

vCloud Air

VMware is backing off projects like the vCloud Air public cloud, as other companies are already providing these services and doing it quite well. VMware plans to focus on the things that their company does better than anyone else.

There are a few ways to achieve these kinds of connections currently, such as through an ordinary Internet connection, via a direct connection, or by using a collocation that connects to the cloud (such as the product by Equinix). But NSX can bring enterprise level encryption to the mix, and provide a much more secure way of achieving these kinds of connections between the cloud and the onsite enterprise data center.

This innovation moves VMware beyond a simple provider of compute virtualization software and into the virtualized network and storage capabilities that are the foundation of the proposed Software Defined Data Center envisioned and touted by VMware. What does NSX have to offer? This product’s annual revenue doubled over the past year to surpass $600 million.

Meanwhile, developers who depend on VMware’s products are just waiting for answers. As new CFO Zane Rowe takes command on March 1, the picture of the new VMware may become clearer. For now, all that is known for certain is that 800 employees, including parts of the development teams responsible for building and maintaining VMware Workstation and Fusion, are gone and the company is in the midst of a massive restructuring and realignment process.

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Use Case - Tamper-resistant Clinical Trials

Goal:

Blockchain PoCs were unsuccessful due to complexity and lack of developers.

Still the goal of data immutability as well as client verification is a crucial. Furthermore, the system needs to be easy to use and operate (allowing backup, maintenance windows aso.).

Implementation:

immudb is running in different datacenters across the globe. All clinical trial information is stored in immudb either as transactions or the pdf documents as a whole.

Having that single source of truth with versioned, timestamped, and cryptographically verifiable records, enables a whole new way of transparency and trust.

Use Case - Finance

Goal:

Store the source data, the decision and the rule base for financial support from governments timestamped, verifiable.

A very important functionality is the ability to compare the historic decision (based on the past rulebase) with the rulebase at a different date. Fully cryptographic verifiable Time Travel queries are required to be able to achieve that comparison.

Implementation:

While the source data, rulebase and the documented decision are stored in verifiable Blobs in immudb, the transaction is stored using the relational layer of immudb.

That allows the use of immudb’s time travel capabilities to retrieve verified historic data and recalculate with the most recent rulebase.

Use Case - eCommerce and NFT marketplace

Goal:

No matter if it’s an eCommerce platform or NFT marketplace, the goals are similar:

  • High amount of transactions (potentially millions a second)
  • Ability to read and write multiple records within one transaction
  • prevent overwrite or updates on transactions
  • comply with regulations (PCI, GDPR, …)


Implementation:

immudb is typically scaled out using Hyperscaler (i. e. AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure) distributed across the Globe. Auditors are also distributed to track the verification proof over time. Additionally, the shop or marketplace applications store immudb cryptographic state information. That high level of integrity and tamper-evidence while maintaining a very high transaction speed is key for companies to chose immudb.

Use Case - IoT Sensor Data

Goal:

IoT sensor data received by devices collecting environment data needs to be stored locally in a cryptographically verifiable manner until the data is transferred to a central datacenter. The data integrity needs to be verifiable at any given point in time and while in transit.

Implementation:

immudb runs embedded on the IoT device itself and is consistently audited by external probes. The data transfer to audit is minimal and works even with minimum bandwidth and unreliable connections.

Whenever the IoT devices are connected to a high bandwidth, the data transfer happens to a data center (large immudb deployment) and the source and destination date integrity is fully verified.

Use Case - DevOps Evidence

Goal:

CI/CD and application build logs need to be stored auditable and tamper-evident.
A very high Performance is required as the system should not slow down any build process.
Scalability is key as billions of artifacts are expected within the next years.
Next to a possibility of integrity validation, data needs to be retrievable by pipeline job id or digital asset checksum.

Implementation:

As part of the CI/CD audit functionality, data is stored within immudb using the Key/Value functionality. Key is either the CI/CD job id (i. e. Jenkins or GitLab) or the checksum of the resulting build or container image.

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