VMware, Arista Expand Network Virtualization Partnership

The two vendors will continue to more tightly integrate such offerings as VMware's NSX platform and Arista's EOS operating system.

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VMware and Arista Networks are expanding their partnership to help drive adoption of network virtualization, including VMware's year-old NSX platform.

The two companies on Aug. 8 announced what officials said is the third phase of their ongoing relationship, which started in 2010 with the integration of VMware's ESX, vSphere and vCloud products, and continued two years later with the VXLAN specification and its interoperability across both physical and virtual networks.

The third phase will include integration of NSX with Arista's networking technologies and Arista's support for VMware's vCenter Operations Management Suite and VMware vCenter Log Insight product. The vendors' efforts have revolved around building networking capabilities to drive what officials call the software-defined data center (SDDC) for hybrid cloud environments.

The two companies are looking to leverage the networking solutions from Arista and the network virtualization offerings from VMware. Arista brings its cloud networking offerings—including 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet switches and its Extensible Operating System (EOS)—into a mix that includes VMware's NSX and other products.

"Arista is committed to working with VMware products and architectures to optimally combine the VMware network virtualization platform and Arista programmable physical networks for the best network-wide virtualization deployments," Arista President and CEO Jayshree Ullal said in a statement.

The announcement comes a day after Arista, which became a public company in June, announced that in the last financial quarter, the vendor saw revenues jump 65.2 percent over the same period last year—to $137.9 million—with net income hitting $21.6 million, more than double the $10.3 million during the second quarter of 2013. Arista now has 2,700 customers.

It also comes two weeks before VMware's VMworld 2014 show, which begins Aug. 24 in San Francisco. The SDDC will be a key topic of discussion, with sessions in such areas as networking, cloud infrastructure, storage, business continuity, security and applications.

VMware, a subsidiary of giant storage vendor EMC, unveiled its NSX platform in August 2013, putting it in more direct competition with the likes of Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard and Dell in the network virtualization space. The platform brings together VMware's network virtualization technology with the virtual network overlay solution the company acquired when it bought software-defined networking (SDN) startup Nicira in 2012 for $1.26 billion. VMware officials envision Google-like networking environments by creating data center infrastructures that leverage virtualization capabilities to become more automated, dynamic and programmable at a time when such trends as mobile computing, big data and the cloud are increasing demand for greater flexibility.

Arista—along with Juniper Networks and Brocade—was among the initial networking vendors to join with VMware as partners in the development of the NSX platform. The expanded partnership with Arista will further help organizations embrace network virtualization, according to Raghu Raghuram, executive vice president of cloud infrastructure at VMware.

"Through our shared vision for the software-defined data center, we are empowering customers to integrate Arista EOS-based network infrastructure with VMware NSX to enable the same operational model to be used for both virtual and physical workloads, resulting in increased efficiency and agility for the data center operator," Raghuram said in a statement.