What choice will you make for SDN solutions for vCloud Suite?

SDN Solutions for vCloud Suite 6

In the wake of VMware’s vSphere 6 announcements, I’ve had multiple clients ask me about SDN Solutions for vCloud Suite. For quick background, SDN (Software Defined Networking) in vCloud Suite 5.x and earlier consisted of vCloud Networking and Security (vCNS). vCNS is a bundle of virtual networking appliances to provide …

… virtual firewall, virtual private network (VPN), load balancing, NAT, DHCP and VXLAN-extended networks.

So why am I bringing this up? Well, in vCloud Suite 6, vCNS is no longer included. Well, mostly. If you’re a VMware Service Provider partner (VMware IaaS Powered Services), vCNS is still part of the Premier and Premier Plus bundles.

Existing vCloud Suite 5.5 customers can bring forward vCNS from their existing versions:

vCloud Networking and Security was included with the previous version of vCloud Suite, and performed the networking functions of the management cluster. While vCloud Networking and Security is no longer a part of vCloud Suite, it is available for customers upgrading from the previous release. See Upgrade vCloud Suite Components.

At one point there was speculation that the vShield Edge Gateway appliance was going to be still part of the vCloud Suite, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. The only SDN solutions for vCloud Suite are NSX or a third party solution. But NSX is an add-on option for the vCloud Suite and deploying an Edge cluster without a bundled networking and security solution seems to be putting customer in a perilous position. What to do? Well, here are some third party starting points:

Juniper vSRX

Carrier-grade, integrated virtual firewall for the world’s most demanding networksDesigned for enterprises and service providers, the vSRX virtual firewall delivers core firewall, robust networking, advanced security services, and automated lifecycle management capabilities in a virtual machine. The vSRX gives you the power and control to deploy scalable firewall protection in highly dynamic environments.

Palo Alto Networks Virtualized Data Center

The VM-Series of virtualized next-generation firewalls eliminate the unacceptable compromises you previously faced when moving into virtualized datacenter or cloud computing. The VM-Series enables you to deploy a virtualized security infrastructure that safely enables the complex and growing number of applications in your datacenter, while keeping pace with the rapid pace of change occurring in your virtualized environment.

What’s your SDN for vCloud Suite not including vCNS? Are you recommending NSX for all new purchases? Or a third party solution? If a third party, who do you think has a complete security vision?

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John White is walking the path to virtualization mastery.

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