Sunday, February 5, 2012

Nicira Unveils its Network Virtualization Platform

Nicira, a start-up based in Palo Alto, California, unveiled its Network Virtualization Platform (NVP) and announced initial deployments with AT&T, eBay, Fidelity Investments, NTT and Rackspace.


Nicira is offering a software-based system that creates a distributed virtual network infrastructure in cloud data centers that is completely decoupled and independent from physical network hardware. The company says its technology "decouples and isolates virtual networks from the underlying network hardware, like server virtualization decouples and isolates virtual machines from the underlying server hardware. "


Nicira;s NVP software is implemented at the network edge and managed by distributed clustered controller architecture. The system forms a thin software layer that treats the physical network as an IP backplane. This approach allows the creation of virtual networks that have the same properties and services as physical networks, such as security and QoS policies, L2 reachability, and higher-level service capabilities such as stateful firewalling. These virtual networks can be created dynamically to support VM mobility anywhere within or between data centers without service disruption or address changes.


Nicira claims its platform is compatible with any data center network hardware and that it can be deployed non-disruptively on any existing network. The company is pursuing a usage-based, monthly subscription-pricing model, which scales per virtual network port.


“AT&T, working with Nicira, is delivering enterprise-grade, secure and scalable network virtualization within its internal OpenStack deployment,�? said Toby Ford, AVP Cloud Architecture and Strategy, AT&T. “Nicira’s technologies support our work to open the network for innovation and unlock numerous, differentiated offers such as the AT&T API Delivery Platform, the AT&T Developer Center ForHealth, and other services we’ll be building for developers and businesses.�?


“Nicira’s Network Virtualization Platform is a game changer,�? said Lew Moorman, President, Rackspace. “Nicira’s product and industry contributions with OpenStack are tightly aligned with our strategy to bring together the most innovative and open technology with our own fanatical support. Together we are bringing enterprise private networking to the cloud.�?http://www.nicira.com

  • Nicira was founded by networking research leaders Martin Casado and Nick McKeown from Stanford University and Scott Shenker from University of California at Berkeley. Casado’s work at Stanford led to the creation of OpenFlow and Software-Defined Networking (SDN), an architectural approach in which the intelligence of networking shifts from hardware to software.


  • Nicira has raised $50 million in funding to date from Andreessen Horowitz, Lightspeed Venture Partners and New Enterprise Associates, as well as individual investors including VMware co-founder Diane Greene and Benchmark Capital co-founder Andy Rachleff.

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